Last year I went to Pepperwood Preserve to hear an indigenous elder speak on how his people understood the fires of 2017. He said they never experienced fires of such magnitude in all of their time in California. But he went on to say that they worked with fire "all the time" and "for everything". Fire was a core routine of their land management practices. It's clear that the Western model of "fire suppression" practiced for decades actually results in huge fuel loads and catastrophic fires. We have to re-learn from the original people of these lands how they co-existed peacefully with fire for thousands of years.

While surprisingly few structures have burned given the size of the fire, I'm looking at maps of areas burnt, and am praying for the land and many tree and animal friends that I'm unsure of how they've fared. The hills near Firefly, the lands I hike and bike and run in, are all burning. When I return, the landscape will be very different.

Regardless of the outcome of this fire, we'll continue offering the connective medicine of cacao. The increased urgency is clear as we see as the ills of disconnection like poor land management, corporate greed and negligence, and climate change, right in our backyard.

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