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  • Writer's pictureJeanette Prather

Base Camp Juxtaposition

I remember the days on a movie set where "base camp" used to refer to the crew, catering, and background extras holding location. Basically, the meeting spot for everyone while shooting on site. As a background extra, we're told to follow the signs lining nearby streets to lead us to "base camp" where we'll check in at like 5 a.m.

A few days before evacuating Scotts Valley, I saw that there was a base camp being set up in Sky Park, catering and all. Immediately I was reminded of my days shooting on site at various locations across the state. Upon closer inspection and with an eerie undertone, I realized that it was a base camp for Cal Fire that would also serve as a press conference meeting center in the coming days. More so, the streets of Scotts Valley wouldn't be lined with signs pointing to a Hollywood "base camp" filming location, it would be lined with homemade signs of thanks and praise to our firefighters and first responders.

Photo Courtesy Bay Area News Group & Chico Enterprise-Record

That juxtaposition from what "was" merely a year ago and what "is" in 2020 is clear and highlighted. When my kids get older (although I'm sure that Luke will clearly remember this time in history in his little 9-year-old mind, not to mention feel the ripple effects decades into the future), I hope that I can capture this moment in clear words for them:

This year there was no room for the frivolous and non-essential. 2020 has no patience for the weak or the whimsy. This was the year of grit, the year of the warrior, the survivor. 2020 was the year that we stopped taking the yellow sun and the blue sky for granted and banned together as a human society to save our unhappy planet. The year that fractured systems finally blew open, exposing an insecure foundation made up of false beliefs and prejudices. 2020 was the year that softened hearts and taught human beings to co-exist with... everything. This was the year that we didn't just mindlessly build because we could, instead we closely examined our infrastructure to see what really needs to happen and consciously develop a sustainable system moving forward.

2020 was the year of the metal rat.

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