Last night at about 8 pm, I headed out to meet a few friends at our local bar.   A few streets down, I could see what appeared to be a giant leaf fire in a yard.  The closer I got to the fire, I could see that the blaze had enveloped a woodshed near a house.  The situation was clearly out of control.  The homeowner was nowhere to be seen. I was panicking; we all live in the forest, and fires get really big really fast.  I was about to call the fire department when the darnedest thing happened.

The neighbor next door came flying out of his house, rolled out the garden hose, and started going to town on the inferno.  He looked heroic in the light of the fire, sparks and water flying everywhere.  He moved quickly and extinguished the flames that were spreading first, and then tackled the shed.  It was beautiful, and I started getting emotional.  Not because he chose to fight the fire.  But because I knew something more about the homeowner and that neighbor:

They despise each other.

It's common knowledge.  Those two families have been nagging about each other for the many years I've known them, possibly longer.  Neither family likes the way the other family lives or keeps their property.  But despite the mutual differences and corresponding disdain, neither family is about to let the other one's house burn down.

It touched my heart.

Reader, we live in a strange time.  On-line, it would appear that the world is falling apart.  And don't get me wrong: it truly is.  But in the real world in this country, people on the whole are still willing to help out their fellow man in a time of distress.  I share this story with you tonight just in case you could benefit from the optimism it gave me. I know I'm a hippie, but I still like to believe that--deep down--we're an empathetic and kind species.

This week, I'm continuing to build my restaurant bricks, work on my next album, and look after my daughter.  Whatever you're up to, I hope you remember that you're surrounded by people who would fight fires with you. What a powerful thing.  See you next Sunday. -Em

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