My Southern Oregon home town nestles in millions of forested acres. It is paradise, until fire season strikes. Then it feels more like, well, that other place where you always want ice water. When you live in the forest, wildfires are a natural part of the territory, but knowing this doesn’t make it easier to breathe. This summer the air quality has hung heavy in the “hazardous” range for long smoky weeks. Among my fellow townspeople there is rising collective unrest, a feeling of being smothered, cornered, ready to evacuate.
In struggling through the smoke of the literal and figurative fires raging in these burning times, I not only feel my own dread and panic, I also tap into the collective pain of our endangered world. However, in those dark smoky nights of the soul when I would give up almost any material possession for clean air and a few stars, I also glimpse the natural intelligence behind this great turning of our times. I’m certain that these fires can offer healing not only to our Earth, but to humanity, if we allow our hearts to be kindled by the flames. Read More