This post will be a departure from the kind of article I usually write.
My wife, Patty and I were forced to evacuate our home in the Redwoods on the evening of August 18 after hearing someone shouting through a megaphone from a helicopter circling over our home to “Leave immediately!”
A couple of days earlier, Northern California experienced a most unusual thunderstorm that produced close to 11,000 bolts of lightning, which then caused hundreds of fires.
At the time (it was still dark), Patty and I sat outside on the porch to enjoy the light show that lit up the skies. Little did we know of the impending danger that would build into what we now know of as the CZU August Lightning Complex Fires!
As smoke started to fill the air, we packed our cars quickly with essential items and drove down the mountain to safety.
Unfortunately, we received notice nine days later that our beloved home was destroyed by the fires. Many of our neighbors also lost their homes. According to CalFire, 925 homes have been lost to date.
Up until that point of getting the dreaded news, we understood the very real possibility of our place being destroyed, but we held onto hope and prepared ourselves as best we could for either outcomes.
However, when it was confirmed that our home was destroyed in the fires, it was like getting kicked in the gut! I had to read the message many times, as it seemed that my body and mind needed time to “catch up” with the enormity of what I was reading.
After much support of family and friends, the initial shock of losing our home shifted into feelings of gratitude for the outpouring of love that was being showered upon us.
In our rush to evacuate, I made sure to pack my singing bowls and other sound healing instruments. However, because of the large size of my guitar and digeridoo, I was not able to pack them and so they were lost to the fires.
By strange “coincidence” it just so happened that we received the unfortunate news the evening before my birthday, so Patty took me out the next day to buy me a new guitar! Ha! Patty was not going to let the loss of our home get in the way of celebrating my bday!
Later that evening my relatives, who lovingly opened their home to us, gave me a birthday dinner as a way to celebrate “New Beginnings.”
It felt kind of surreal, but I must say it was the best birthday party I had ever experienced! And up until the fires, Patty and I have both agreed that this had been by far the best summer of our lives! We called it our “Summer of Love!”
Ironically, due to the Covid shutdown, we had a chance to spend most of our waking hours sitting quietly beneath the beautiful Redwoods and walking the trails close by.
We created altars upon the land and offered prayers and offerings to the Divine Spirit, so strongly felt!
And that is how Patty and I are approaching this period of our lives. Although it was deeply sad to lose our home and most of our belongings, there has also been a kind of undercurrent of something new that is wanting to be born in our lives.
Patty and I are taking things one day at a time and planning next steps, listening and feeling deeply as we move forward on the path that unfolds before us.
We are deeply grateful to our friend, Amy Martin, for putting together a GoFundMe campaign to help raise funds for us to rebuild our lives!
For those who are able to we would deeply appreciate donations and/or sharing of our GoFundMe campaign to your community of friends. Will include the link here: