The fires in the surrounding hills creep closer, curling over the lip of the bowl and flooding the valley with smoke. Something has changed -- it's not just dead trees burning, but trash, detritus, and, soon, our homes. There was an unmanned fire engine parked down the street, couchant.
I woke up this morning and stepped outside and it smelled like winter in Afghanistan, when all the poor furiously burn anything at hand to stave off dry, freezing, winter winds that rip through and kill people where they huddle.
This feels like a metaphor; it doesn't have to be. This feel likes a portent; it doesn't have to be.