Image by Ora Yashar

I walk through this land where the trees have a mil­lion sto­ries to tell. And all I can won­der is: Will they be left to tell it? Will we? The sun may have risen, but I can’t see it shine. I’ve come to you, for you are my respite. Your embrace makes me whole. Refresh­es my soul. The only place to rest my head with­out you is six feet below. Flecks of white sprin­kle down onto my orange skin. Orange every­where. Am I look­ing at the world through a sepia fil­ter? No, this is no fil­ter. This is Yosemite burning.

This piece was pub­lished by NuRoots in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Jew­ish Book Coun­cil as part of NuRoots’ Awe in a Flash project for In Awe — sev­en weeks of vir­tu­al gath­er­ings and D.I.Y. expe­ri­ences that explore a sea­son of expan­sive­ness, reflec­tion, and aston­ish­ment. See the oth­er pieces here and here.

An ini­tia­tive of the Jew­ish Fed­er­a­tion of Greater Los Ange­les, NuRoots mobi­lizes and inspires peo­ple in their 20s and 30s to cre­ate mean­ing­ful Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty across L.A.

Ora is an Iran­ian-Amer­i­can writer/​director. Her short film Melt­ing the Snow­man has screened in over 25 film fes­ti­vals inter­na­tion­al­ly and her scripts have placed in com­pe­ti­tions includ­ing the Austin Film Fes­ti­val, Atlanta Film Fes­ti­val, Kansas City Film Fest, Final Draft’s Big Break and Screencraft’s Film Fund. Ora is a Film Inde­pen­dent Episod­ic Lab Fel­low and a Jew­ish Women’s The­atre NEXT Fel­low. Expe­ri­ences writ­ing an Emmy nom­i­nat­ed PSA for the San­ta Mon­i­ca Muse­um of Art and direct­ing a 2x Tel­ly award win­ning PSA for the ALS Asso­ci­a­tion have been deeply grat­i­fy­ing. Fur­ther nour­ish­ing Ora’s love of sto­ry­telling are her two sea­sons as the showrunner’s assis­tant on the Net­flix series Atyp­i­cal. She received her MFA in Direct­ing from Chap­man University.