The Clayton Fire in Lower Lake - 6 miles from the Mountain Of Attention
It is now nearly a year since the Valley Fire and as I write today the fire season has begun in earnest here in Lake County. After anxiously watching several small fires around the county flare up and be stopped over the past few weeks, the new Clayton Fire has been burning for three days now, (4,000 acres as of this morning) destroying much of the little town of Lower Lake, about 20 minutes from us.  The sickening familiarity of the "emergency drill" is now in full swing - the news conferences, the official emergency declaration, the marshaling of local help (setting up shelters, rallying church and local nonprofit service groups, the donation process) the County Supervisors and State Senator addressing the community, the compulsive monitoring of Facebook and Calfire websites.  The Lower Lake Methodist Church, where we have held several Town Meetings in the wake of last years fires, is gone, as are the offices of Habitat for Humanity. We are nervously waiting to hear from our dear friends at Dandelion Farm, which just barely escaped last year's fires and is now directly in the path of this new one. 

This new fire has already been attributed to arson (from the latin ardere to burn - as in ardor) with a suspect arrested yesterday. But across the state other, even larger fires are raging (the Soberanes Fire near Big Sur is now over 75,000 acres, with one fatality already and they say it may quadruple in size and burn for another month). Even if that turns out to have been caused by some accidental spark, or "natural" cause, it is still directly related to the massive earth system changes now underway caused by our continuing psychotic dissociation from the natural earth world that has left the ground here in California parched and primed to explode. Is that not arson also?
For the past several years now, my hikes through the local hills in Napa and here in Lake County, have been haunted by the inescapable evidence of the rising heat  that is engulfing our world. Even during the winter rains, the creeks that once gushed wildly down hillsides are now tamer. And in summer and fall the pervasive bone-dryness of the landscape has felt distinctly ominous, reflecting a kind of systemic inflammatory condition rampant world wide. The orange glow from my balcony is not just from the town burning. It is the hot rage spilling across the country this election season, the shock of the over 20,000 bombs dropped by the US in the middle east last year. 

In "Not Two Is Peace" Adi Da writes, "The signs of chaos and insanity that may be observed in the human realm of the present day are an extension of a more fundamental disturbance - which is the ego-based nature of global human culture." And the ego, if not yielded to the cool depths of prior unity-bliss-love, relieved of concern for personal survival, is only dry, brittle, and so easily inflamed

Last week CalFire officially reported that the cause of the Valley Fire, which destroyed so much our community last year, was a spark from someone's "out of code" electrical connection for a hot tub that overheated and ignited dry grass. I say let's stop building our "own" hot tubs and get quite naked together in a communal pool where we can melt away our rigidity and stiffness. 

More news soon to come about our progress on our "Bright Village" project to rebuild a cooperative village on the site of last years destruction.



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