I watch in horror as my beloved Oregon burns.

I watch in horror as the people of this beautiful State demonize the teenager who likely started the fire.

I pore through articles, blogposts, and news stories about the devastation that is happening and I am filled with genuine remorse.

Yes. Remorse.

It’s true I didn’t start the forest fires or participate in the lighting of the matches, but I am responsible and I feel remorse.

I rail against the politicians for not doing enough to save the environment. I’m irritated by the climate change deniers for not “believing” in science. I despise the big oil companies for being greedy, our President for not caring about the earth, and Mother Nature for a winter of too much rain with a scorching dry summer. I complain and whine and point fingers and continue to feel self-righteous and indignant.

But what am I doing? What am I really doing?

I am part of the problem. I am actively participating in global warming.

Yes, I reduce, reuse and recycle and sign petitions and donate money and write letters to my Members of Congress, but I really haven’t changed much.

What am I REALLY doing to help this earth? What am I willing to do OR NOT DO to save this planet? Really? What am I doing?

I sit in my big air-conditioned house with all the windows closed and way too many lights on and I curse the smoke and ash falling from the sky.

I drive my big mini-van everywhere because it’s too hot or too cold or too rainy or too smoky or too inconvenient to do otherwise.

I take long hot showers and contemplate the destruction of our planet and I don’t even give my own behavior a second thought.

I own my own home with a large yard and I don’t grow any of my own food.

I continue to eat beef even though I know the meat production in this country contributes to global warming.

I mindlessly run the water when brushing my teeth.

I buy new clothing instead of used and then justify it by using coupons and buying things on sale. The waste associated with discarded clothing doesn’t even enter my mind.

I almost always forget my re-usable shopping bags when I go to the grocery store and then pat myself on the back for using paper bags instead of plastic. It doesn’t occur to me to save a freaking tree.

I buy produce packed in plastic because it’s easier and I justify my behavior by telling myself I’m a busy mom who still feeds vegetables to her kids.

I take my kids to coffee shops and order water with their treats. The water comes in a plastic cup with a plastic lid and a plastic straw. They drink a little and throw it all in the trash. I thank them for not littering and feel proud that they aren’t drinking soda.

These are just a few of the horrific things that came to mind as I watched the forest fire jump the Columbia River and spread to the State of Washington.

The remorse I feel is huge and weighs heavy on my heart.

I willingly helped in the destruction of something I love and the amends to this place will only happen through my own more responsible behavior.

The consuming and wasting are killing this beautiful planet we call home.

It’s time for me to wake up and change.

Would you care enough to join me?