Albert Camus’ grave, Lourmarin

The Canadian Broadcasting’s program “Ideas” this week concerns the life and work of Albert Camus.

Like so many young people in the late 1950’s and early ’60’s, Camus affected me deeply. Visiting Provence in 2011, I made a point of traveling south across the Luberon range from where we were staying in Bonnieux to the town of Lourmarin, which had been Camus’ home.

We visited the cemetery, where Camus is buried. The grave impressed me with its simplicity. No grand monument befit a great man, it consisted of a plain slab with a generous planting of lavender. It was late in May. There had been other visitors, who had left evidence of their presence with lavender bloom tenderly pressed into the lettering on the slab.

Cloud Shadow

Cloud Shadow 7298

Washington State is on fire right now. Mostly, it’s east of the mountains, but there is a fire upstream of us on the Skagit River.

Here in Anacortes, on Fidalgo Island, we are seeing effects of the fire. There is smoke in the air. In this image, we see the shadow of the cloud, where the particulate in the air is not being illuminated.

A few days ago, they said that half a million acres were burning. Maybe more now, although yesterday there was hope because the winds had moderated. The burn is turning some of the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen to desert.