Last Sunday, my husband and I attended an event called “Indigenous Wisdom and Resiliency in Challenging Times.” Ilarion Merculieff of the Aleuts shared spiritual and practical wisdom from indigenous traditions about how to face the crises that are impacting us and the Earth.
That evening, the winds picked up, then roared throughout Northern California. Fires that started as small sparks in Sonoma and Napa at around 9 pm, spread rapidly as wind gusts reached 85 mph. At 2:00 a.m. my husband and I awoke choking from the smoke that filled our bedroom. We are alright, but thousands aren’t.
Communities north and east of us have been decimated by fire, and continue to be. The loss of homes, livelihoods, and tragically, lives, mounts daily. Fires have torn through wild lands and devastated wildlife. It is hard to breathe at times, and not just because of the smoke.
In so many ways, the map of our communities have been irrevocably changed.
I volunteered at a local church to help with supplies, we have given money, but I wanted to do more. Recalling Ilarion’s talk on resiliency, I realized I needed to help nurture resilience in a way that was congruent with my own gifts and training. I joined with my journal therapist colleague Kate Thompson to do what we do best: facilitate writing workshop. This is the first of three workshops on Writing for Resilience we will be offering in the next few weeks. Though it isn’t easy, in time, and in our own way, we can make our way back to an emotional landscape that feels more nurturing and supportive.
In the spirit of healing, please accept our gift to you.