Lauren’s Pilgrimage, Part 1: Kindness eases Change

Burned_mobile_home_neighborhood_in_California

In order to rise
From its own ashes
A phoenix
First
Must
Burn.

Yesterday (11 years from now), Lauren Olamina’s home burned.  Lauren’s journey north begins in Chapter 15 of The Parable of the Sower.  Her journey north will take almost 2 months.  Along the way, Earthseed is born.  I thought it would be fun and interesting to track Lauren’s journey in real time.  And fortunately, someone named Penny Richards has done a lot of the work for me.

Robledo, Lauren’s home, is a fictional place, but we have some hints as to its location.  In Chapter 5, she says it is 20 miles from L.A.  In Chapter 15, as Lauren and her two companions, Harry and Zahra, are heading away from Robledo, she describes her intended route:

“We walked down to the freeway–the 118–and turned west. We would take the 118 to the 23 and the 23 to US 101. The 101 would take us up the coast toward Oregon.”

map1Based on this information, Richards places the starting point in the vicinity of Pacoima and Sylmar, which is about 20 miles from the center of L.A., is in the canyons, consists of diverse suburbs, and is near the 118.

So on August 1, 2027, Lauren and her companions make plans, buy supplies, and set off west toward the coast and toward the Destiny.  She has just lost her home and her family, whom she assumes to be dead.  Aptly, she begins her journey with these words:

Kindness eases Change.

 

Note: The photo at the top of this post is of the remains of the Oakridge mobile home park in Sylmar which burned in a 2008 wildfire. (courtesy: Wikipedia)

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One thought on “Lauren’s Pilgrimage, Part 1: Kindness eases Change

  1. I have spent the last two years working peripherally on a project to build a new pay system for the government of Canada, called Phoenix. The project has been plagued by problems including, just recently, the server caught fire. So Phoenixes burning has a lot of meaning for me!

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