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The Animal Communicator Blog

Twenty-Five Years Ago Today

With a raging forest fire about to overtake my home on Inverness Ridge next to Point Reyes National Seashore on the California coast north of San Francisco, I cried as I drove down our steep mountain road.

It was just before the winter rainy season began. Back then, they didn’t call it fire season. Now, as the climate gets hotter and drier, what is called fire season in California is considerably extended.

The following account is an edited version of the article I wrote for January 1996
Species Link Journal.

Purification by Fire
There are days in one's life that stand out in bold letters—milestones like births, deaths of loved ones, weddings, initiations, triumphs, or disasters. Some events make a drastic shift in life's stream of patterns and deeply etch themselves in memory, so that one's chronology becomes "before the ..." and "after the ...." Tuesday, October 3, 1995 was this kind of landmark, when our home, office, members of our animal family, most of our trees and other plants, were destroyed in the cleansing and rejuvenation of the aging Bishop pine forest on Inverness Ridge—a purification by fire.

Several days earlier, three boys had made an illegal campfire on Mount Vision, a site known for its vast vistas of ocean and land, about four miles from our home. Although they attempted to carefully put their fire out, it smoldered and traveled under the dry duff until it found new life. By the time the blazing storm had run its course, it consumed almost 12,500 acres, most of it in the National Seashore land, but also including adjacent private land and 45 homes.

Before the fire, since September 1984, my former husband, Michel, and I lived high on Inverness Ridge, next to Point Reyes National Seashore in all its oceanic beauty. Renting in this magical area for four years, we then moved to our own home just one-half mile down the road in September 1988. Aware that the Bishop pines depend on fire for their regeneration, we felt the fire danger acutely in the driest months of the year, September and October, before the winter seasonal rains began. The forest had not experienced a major fire for about 65 years. Many of the Bishop pines, a species found only along the Pacific coast, were aging, crowded, spindly and diseased—the whole forest well past its prime. Much debris littered the ground, with a thick, flammable understory of shrubs and low branches. Last winter's storms, with heavy rains and winds of over 100 mph, felled hundreds of trees, adding more fuel. We had an unusually hot summer. The pine forest was calling to fire like a lover to her mate.

Path with trees and bellPath to the Fairy Ring pre-fire

Fire Visions
Vivid fire vision dreams woke me years ago, and I knew someday the forest around us would burn. We planned how we would evacuate, how many animals would fit in our two vehicles, a large Ford Aerostar van and small Honda Civic wagon. The Oakland firestorm of 1991, which destroyed about 3000 homes was another drastic reminder. Spring Farm's (Clinton, New York animal sanctuary) Halloween fire two years ago drove the point home further. In June 1994, a fire one-half mile away got us ready to evacuate, with llamas waiting in the van for an hour.

In September, the smell of smoke from a brush fire in Santa Rosa, about 50 miles away, pushed me to prepare a suitcase of food and other survival gear ready for evacuation of the animals, something I had planned to do for awhile. For years, Michel backed up all our computer files on disks to store in the bank safety deposit box every month, along with other important papers. I prayed that we would both be home should a fire come, so that we could get out as many of our 42-member animal family as possible. Saving none of them would have been the worst scenario imaginable. Unless we had time to make two trips, we knew we couldn't take them all with us.

Mid-September, Michel had a strong fire vision dream, unusual for him. He woke up disturbed, feeling it was a warning. Monday, October 2nd was hot, windy and dry, not unusual for the time of year. I was preparing to welcome Advanced Course animal communication students for the coming weekend. I took advantage of the perfect weather to give the dogs a bath outdoors. October 3rd was even more windy, though not quite as hot.

Two carpenters were building an octagon meditation building that I had been shown in a vision, in place of the sauna built long before we arrived. It was a holy spot, facing the largest mountain in the area in the southerly direction, and the fairy ring in our garden to the north. One of the carpenters smelled smoke and alerted me just after 2:00 P.M. It smelled like a grass fire. Calling our neighbors, we discovered that there was a fire on Mount Vision, 4-5 miles away, which the firefighters felt would be easily contained. Within twenty minutes, helicopters began to fly over with huge buckets of water along with airplanes with tanks full of fire-smothering fertilizer. Surely it was under control. We also felt protected; I always felt that way in our area and on our land. We continued checking with our neighbors, the Park Service, and the Fire Department. We were assured that the fire was being contained, first at one, then ten acres.

The smoke filtered through the valley below. Another neighbor, about one-half mile down the road, called about 2:40 to say the smoke was very thick in his area and that I should be prepared to evacuate the animals. Michel was down in town doing errands. I still felt we were safe but began to be concerned. Checking with other neighbors on the CB radio and with the fire officials, we were assured there was still no need to evacuate. I didn't want to hustle cats into carriers and squeeze everyone into vehicles if I didn't have to. No need to panic. Michel returned after 3:00, and from all reports, despite the increase of smoke and the fact that the fire had jumped into the Bishop pine forest, we thought we were still safe. They would contain the fire. Everything would be okay. We were protected.

An office helper, who was entering new names and addresses into our computer database continued to work, despite a smoke alarm going off in our house from smoke entering an open window. I did the afternoon rounds with the animals and finished scrubbing the bunny cottage to prepare for the weekend course. We had entered a surreal reality, not tracking squarely with the imminent danger.

I noted that all the cats were inside, except Sherman. He usually didn't come in until late afternoon or evening in this mild weather. I asked Michel to bring up the cat carriers from storage, just in case we had to evacuate. I sent a message to Sherman, saying it was important to return home now, picturing the forest and our house burning, letting him know that, if we had to go, I didn't want him to be left wandering through smoke and flames. Within fifteen minutes, he came in the cat door and walked into an open cat carrier.

It was just after 4:00. Alex Kochkin called, saying his house, right next to National Seashore land one-half mile from us, was surrounded by smoke and flying ash; he urged us to get packing. We still had no official word to evacuate, but now we knew that the fire was raging through the forest. We told our office helper to leave. She had just finished her work, and Michel took the completed diskette containing ten hours of data entry. She later told us that the fire engines were coming up the hill as she went down. Following our written evacuation plan, we remained calm, putting all the cats in the carriers, getting the dogs into the house. I asked Michel to run down to the storage area to get cockatiel, Pirouette’s traveling cage; we had to make room to take him, our composer companion of so many years. By then, cars going by were blaring their horns, our neighbors' emergency signal that we should evacuate.

Our female Afghan hound, Reya panicked with all the noise and ran out of the house, with the gate wide open as the carpenters pulled their trucks out of the driveway. I called to Michel to catch her. Michel packed the dogs and cats into the Honda. I put Pirouette in the traveling cage and went to halter the llamas. My hands were shaking as I fed the llamas their treats to corral them. Raindance was understandably jumpy. Michel came, and we led them to the van. Well-trained troopers, they jumped in, just like we were off to hike a new trail.

I ran into the house, stuffed some important materials (wallet, checkbooks, calendar, address book, one business record book, recent diskettes, unopened mail) into a canvas bag and scanned the evacuation list, grabbing our ready sleeping bag and jackets. For a brief moment in the office, I knew that if we didn't get out soon, we could all be killed. I abandoned the evacuation list.

There was no room in the vehicles for other animals in carriers. And no time to take them if we could. Chickens, chinchilla, all birds in the outdoor Beatrix Potter Bunny Cottage, canary, lizards had to stay behind. As I left the house about 4:50, I said goodbye to Gloria and Samson, our two lizards, as the power failed. We had to go. Michel grabbed Pirouette's cage to put him in with the llamas. I hurried to the car to begin down the road. Firefighters assembled on the road. Traveling several hundred feet to the corner, I asked a fire official if there was a blue van behind me, as I wouldn't leave without my husband. He said there wasn't, and I asked him to check back, as I waited.

Michel had put Pirouette's cage in the van with the llamas, but Raindance startled and stood up, squashing the cage into the roof with enough force to rip the insulation. After Michel unjammed the cage, Pirouette was cheerfully brave, despite the now twisted metal that housed him. Trying to go back for at least one of his lutes or guitar, Michel was forced by a fire official to get into the van and leave. The man yelled that the towering flames were now just 200 feet from our home.

Both of us traveled the winding mile and one half to the bottom of the hill with tears streaming for the animals left behind, and Michel, also for his precious musical instruments. I told myself that this was not the time to cry. I had to drive and get to safety. At the bottom of the hill, our neighbors were gathered. We were one of the last to evacuate the top of the ridge.

I thought of where to go with the nine animals with us. We stopped by the side of the road in a mile to collect ourselves. The ridge above us billowed with fire and smoke. The flames were bigger and moving faster than anyone had comprehended, bounding rapidly through the tinder-dry forest—about three miles in an hour. I remembered being told by a neighbor in the nearby town of Olema, with llamas in an open pasture near the main road, that if we ever had to evacuate we could put the llamas there. We went to her home. The llama pasture felt very unsafe; several llamas had recently died of disease, and we couldn't imagine leaving ours there. A note on the door said that she had gone already to help fire victims.

My attention went to our howlingly upset cats, two of which (Heyoka and Yohinta) were wading in their urine. I wanted to clean them and their carriers, and right where we parked was a hose and two animal carriers. We loaded the two cats into the waiting carriers, hosed and dried their soiled kennel cabs, dried the cats, and returned them to the car. We then followed our impulses to a parking lot near the creek to walk the dogs, where some of our neighbors were doing the same.

We watched the smoking ridge above us, trying to decide what to do next in our homeless plight. We wanted to settle the llamas somewhere before dark. Alex had mentioned on the phone just before evacuation that since the horse stables in Point Reyes was for sale and recently emptied, we could take the llamas there. As we entered the stables parking area, a woman named Jette (Yeta), from Denmark, who rented the aged house on the property came out to welcome us, recognizing me, and saying she had wanted to meet me for a long time. She warmly welcomed us to share her home.

We first searched for a place for the llamas. I knew the llamas would find the dark stalls frightening and uncomfortable, having always lived out in the open with an airy shed for food and shelter. She then led us to a large corral, with a three-sided shed, next to an adjacent Bed and Breakfast. The owner, Janet Schlitt, came out and told us the llamas were welcome there, and we were welcome to stay in her bed and breakfast cottage. We were grateful for this light and peaceful refuge. Our cats were not allowed inside the cottage, so we settled them for the night in the van. The dogs could sleep in the car that night. We then checked in with the Red Cross shelter to let them know where we were.

Jette offered us supper, but I couldn't eat much. We pondered where we could settle the cats. Jette's house already had two resident felines, and adults and children constantly came and went, making it unsafe for our displaced four. Then she thought of an abandoned 10'x10' shed attached to the house, which used to have cats in it, though now it was filthy and full of trash. In the morning, Michel and I worked an hour to clean out debris, including cat food cans and feces. We found blankets and pillows to put on chairs and a few well-worn cat trees from the barn, and made it a livable cat shelter. A window, now cleaned of grime, helped lighten the dingy shed. Sherman (orange tabby) checked out all the holes and cracks in walls, ceiling, and floor for a way out. I asked him not to try to escape, as this was nowhere near our home. He stopped his search and proceeded to transform himself into an indoor cat. The cats settled quickly, though, like me, they couldn't eat much for a day or so.

The dogs moved to the roomier van. We were in a good area to take them on walks, with a large horse arena to safely let them run off leash. Afghans have to run, and our dogs were young, fit, and used to running in their large fenced garden whenever they wanted to, as well as on forest trails and beaches.

Our cottage faced our beloved Inverness Ridge, a few miles away, and we could see the fire plainly as it progressed on the residential east side. Awake most of the night, I bundled up and sat outside, mesmerized by the prodigious flames, towering clouds of smoke, helicopters bravely dousing water from colossal scoops throughout the night. It was an awesome natural event, of which we were intimately a part.

In my emotional state, it was extremely difficult to tune into my dear animal friends that we had to leave behind. I had talked to all of our animals previously about what would happen if we had a fire or other catastrophe and couldn't rescue them. I felt they all understood. After leaving them at our home, knowing the fire would consume the land, I explained telepathically what would happen and asked them not to panic but to support each other through death, which I felt would come quickly for these small friends. I felt that they each had done so, valiantly and peacefully, for the most part, the details being yet too difficult for me to describe here.

Chickens Alive
Can you imagine my joy when I found out two days later from several neighbors that the chickens had survived?! A Marin County Humane Society team gave them water and food and did their best to cover the burned holes in the fence to protect them from predators and planned to return to rescue them the next morning. I liaised to aid in the rescue, and, in the meantime, searched for a place that the chickens could live safely. The stables could not be secured from the abundant fox population, and people who offered homes for them already had chickens, who would not take kindly to the addition of a flock of strangers. Garnet Bowa, a student who had done an Advanced Course at my home that summer, offered a barn and run, which formerly housed pigs. She was experienced in caring for chickens, with one fifteen-year- old (ancient for a chicken!) bantam rooster left from her former flock. She could securely wire the run and take care of them. Until she had prepared their home, the Marin Humane Society would keep them.

On Friday morning, we rounded up each precious chicken friend. The ground was hot through the soles of my shoes, with trees and our stock of thousands of
Animal Talk books still smoking in a storage shed. The bantam chicken house stood intact, with no damage, along with the wooden food shed next to it, even though the metal container and food inside were scorched. The fire raced through our land just after we left at 5:00, and the banty chickens were already roosting, safe in their house. The larger chickens, in the adjacent run, habitually roosted later than the bantams. Their metal house was blackened and twisted by the intense blaze. The nest boxes, food barrel, and all their roosting perches were vaporized. The wooden supports of their run near the house were burned away. They had huddled near the banty run, which was spared.

Several older chickens looked dazed, suffering from the smoke. The rest looked amazingly well. All were happy to be taken from the fire zone, to be with people again, and looked much better when they breathed fresh air. Only Jupiter, Ameraucana rooster, lost his life. Unlike the eighteen others, he went outside the chicken run to fight the dangers surrounding his flock. Dear, heroic Jupiter. As I held his large, beautiful feathered form and sobbed, he asked me to lay his body to rest near the chicken run. A burial in the smoking ground was not an option, and his body would be needed to nurture the wild animals who also lost their homes. In my euphoria over regaining lost members of the family, I even allowed the ubiquitous newspaper reporters to interview me and take my photo with the chickens. I had refused interviews since the fire, feeling it was too invasive. Now, I was happy to share the good news.

After being in the fire area for a few hours, my skin was gray and parched, my lips cracked, my throat aching. A glance in the mirror made me think I had aged ten years; I had to drink volumes of water. I marveled at the firefighters who battled the blaze for many days and monitored the smoking ruins for weeks afterward. I marveled at my dear chicken friends, who had lived through fire and smoke for 2 1/2 days.

Another Miracle
"Deodorama," the meditation building in progress, stood untouched when almost everything around it was scorched. The carpenter found his sledgehammer inside the framed wood structure, with its wooden handle completely turned to ashes, while the floor and joist upon which it leaned did not have even the slightest burn.

On the one-week anniversary of the fire, I mentally tracked through all the steps of that day, reviewing by the hour what we were doing in our flight and passage from the fire area. During that night, as before, I was moved to be outside. I meditated in the starlight, then felt called to a large lower arena, half surrounded by a stream-fed dense thicket of shrubs and trees. I felt the animals of the night all around and began a shamanic dance and journey. I had a vision of the Divine Mother expanding from the earth over the Inverness Ridge, letting me know that her power for nurturing the earth and all life on it had increased from this sacred vortex because of the fire and the growth it generated within us all. Inspiring the building of Deodorama, she had protected it. She showed me a droplet extending from her hand to surround the octagon building, with a few sprinkles sent to the chickens and some of the low-growing plants left green in swaths through the garden. Her presence, so strong upon the Floating Island of Peace before the fire, now filled every molecule of land and air. Deodorama would be continued in its construction; it was meant to be.

This monumental episode provided a tremendous surge in spiritual growth. Many people would ask, "How could such a thing happen to you?" It was not a singular incident that "happened to us" but part of a larger picture, the natural flow of life, integral to our growth in this plane and the well-being of the whole planet. I felt myself expanding in love and compassion.

Sananjaleen wrote to us that she got the thought that a great bell or chimes should be erected on the Sacred Space of the fire. She sent a picture of a bell from a catalog. It was the image of the large three-sided steel bell that actually hung from a rope on a limb of a large bay tree in our garden that the fire had also passed by, and which we had rung in jubilation after we rescued the chickens.

We received up to one hundred calls daily on our voice mail in the first week after the fire. People were sending love and support, doing prayer circles, drumming circles, networking to many who knew us, offering benefits to raise money—one person even volunteered an International Bus to house us or our animals. We felt buoyed with the love and positive energy surrounding us from our local community and beings far and near. Donations of clothing, money, flower essences, and other survival needs came in small and large packages. At first, we balked at accepting donations, since we weren't without money and did have insurance, until we realized how much we really were in need, and how wonderful it was to accept this help from all these generous, loving people. Saving precious time, energy, and finances in our recovery was a great blessing.

I was scheduled to give an Advanced Course at my home that weekend. I had left the registration lists behind and could not recall who was to attend, except for a few. Most people were driving or flying from long distances. Some contacted us when they heard about the fire and managed to cancel their flights. Others were on their way and didn't know what had happened. For the five who showed up, we had a wonderful gathering and sharing of the powerful experience.

In a euphoric state from the sudden release from all possessions, habits and patterns, I enjoyed and needed to be with these sensitive, caring animal people. I felt physically exhausted, unable to eat much for a week, though in a spiritually high, somewhat detached-from-the-earth state. The burden of the loss was filled in at every turn by caring people who gave us shelter, clothes, food, and always the tender, supportive love. Pushing us forward in this extreme state was the need to care for our animals, scrambling to keep our business going to continue our service to others, gathering supplies and means of communication to keep in touch with people.

We were alive and grateful for all our blessings. We escaped with nine of our animal family and regained eighteen more. The October issue of
Species Link Journal had been printed the week before and mailed by our mailing service the day before the fire. Michel's new music recording had been completed and sent to the manufacturer the week before. Although the aftermath of the fire delayed its packaging and final production, the music was not lost. Gratitude. The fire wiped out most of our life as we had known it—an instant, major shift in consciousness! While the loss would make its impact known in many ways over the days, weeks, months, we felt blessed and supported.

Pirouette, our beloved cockatiel, was bereft. His major calling in life, to compose music with and assist Michel, was devastated with the loss of Michel's musical instruments. Pirouette barely ate for four days, and I worried about losing him. His traveling cage had been badly damaged in the escape, and Nancy Sondel and Shari (now Sierra) Goodman offered to drive from Santa Cruz (over 3 hours) to bring him a new cage, toys, millet seed treat and other supplies. Their presence and the new accessories perked Pirouette up considerably, but he still was not well. Then a friend offered to lend Michel his classic guitar. As soon as Michel told Pirouette about it, he brightened, and when Michel played again, Pirouette returned to eating normally and was soon well. Finally, after two weeks, our cockatiel friend again gave us a concert in his inspired whistling style, an event that we were accustomed to enjoying several times per day before.

Cottage for rabbits with man playing guitarMichel next to Beatrix Potter Bunny Cottage with llama shed below

Regalo, llama, who usually doesn't like to ride in the van, was brave and calm in the crisis, never humming in distress while traveling as he usually did. Once we arrived at the corral, he surveyed the view and settled down to a fresh meal of oat hay. Raindance was distressed by his view of the fiery ridge and the new surroundings and barely ate for a day, but then settled into the new situation.

The cats welcomed our visits to their shelter. On the third day, Chico San, fluffy Angora calico, normally extremely affectionate and in our laps, glared at us and sat by the door when we visited. "That's enough, I don't like it here, and I want to go home." She refused to accept our previous explanations of what had happened. After another gentle talk and an overnight meditation, she absorbed the changes, and hopped to my lap on the next visit. The cats weathered their confinement for four weeks with only occasional grumpiness expressed among them, until we moved into a rented home, where we could all be together again.

Buddha Boy (male Afghan) synchronized and flowed with all the changes. Reya, just over a year old at the time of the fire, did not like to travel and would vomit, drool, or moan on rides in the car or van. On the first day, when she complained that she wanted to go home, I explained to her that her home was gone, this was home, and for now, she'd be living in the van, so she'd better not be sick anymore. From that point on, she ceased being carsick!

After visiting our land a few times, we felt the dogs should go and see for themselves what had happened. They were both excited on driving up our hill, but nothing could prepare them for the charred sight that used to be their beautiful home. Buddha Boy panned the entire scene, letting the scope of destruction seep into his consciousness, sadly pondering our loss.

Reya never saw. She hurried to her special running and digging area, where the earth was not burned, and said, "Let me off the leash now, we're home." I pointed out the devastation all around her, but she refused to take it in. We walked down the road, passing neighbors who were sifting through the rubble. Reya looked at their home sites and kept asking, "What happened to them? Where are their homes and their dogs?" I explained that the fire took their homes just like it took ours, but she didn't listen. When it was time to return to the van, she refused to budge, and kept saying, "We're home now, I don't want to leave." That evening she refused her dinner, as the sad reality settled and she traveled through her grief. A week or so later, when we visited with the dogs again, she accepted the picture and was her cheerful self, jumping back into the van after we walked the neighborhood.

Although our spirits were generally high, I couldn't eat or sleep well for a week. The fire seemed to have drained the heat from my body, and I couldn't get warm. After a week of sparse appetite, I became hungry and was moved to eat meat. Nurturing my body's needs, warmth returned to my body and I felt strong again. A record-breaking (since childhood) eating meat twice in one day restored my balance, and I felt a deep and intimate communion with all the animals on Earth, myself included. I have experienced this to degrees when guided to eat meat in the past, despite my vegetarian preference. This time I experienced a palpable, rich and deep communion with the animals who directly merged their energy with my physical body and all the rest who united in spirit. It was a gift of life, a sacrament, a natural commingling of "anima," a relief from pain, which I accepted with reverence. My body and spirit were more harmoniously integrated.

Wild Animal Connection
In cleaning out Pirouette's cage, I threw the seeds on the ground outside the cottage door. A scrub jay came down to feast, and he reminded me of the scrub jays that lived in our garden—part of our wild family. I asked him if he knew how his fellow jays on the ridge, particularly the ones I knew, were doing in the aftermath of the fire. He said they were fine. Yes, he'd checked on them; the birds, especially jays, crows, and ravens always kept in touch and spread the word throughout bird society and to all who would listen. That day, when I went to visit our land, I noticed how quiet it was with the absence of bird song. With that thought, the surroundings changed. A flock of small birds surrounded me in the tall, scorched trees, lending their song to lift my spirits. Then Scrub Jay called from above. I recognized his energy, as the one who was most around the garden this year, happily bathing in the automatic llama waterer in the morning. He flew from tree top to tree top, hailing me in a hoarse, smoke-stressed voice, that he was here, he was okay, as were most of the birds, and he would look after the land until we returned. Down the road, where the fire had checked its course and the forest was still green, a neighbor reported a huge influx of birds in his garden.

Many ground animals died, were injured or displaced in the fast-moving fire. Even in their plight, I felt their innate acceptance of the forces of nature of which they were a part. I echoed that feeling as I felt their losses and my own.

Rental homes were scarce for people with our type of family, needing extensive space, fenced areas, and a good place to hold Advanced Courses. The universe was looking after us, and through Michel's diligent home search, a realtor showed us an amazing place, a just-built, large concrete (fire resistant!) home, shaped like a horseshoe and looking like a shitake mushroom growing from the ground. High in the hills of Nicasio, about five miles from the town of Point Reyes Station, it faced our beloved Inverness Ridge on 28 acres of eagle vistas. The owners, two psychology professors and animal lovers, lived in Southern California and weren't able to move in until January '97. They were delighted that we loved their new home and would take good care of it and that they could provide a refuge for us and our animal family.

The owner agreed to fence in a large area for the dogs, as she also wanted to have a garden, and a fence was needed to keep out deer and cows. After six weeks of taking a lot of time to ensure that the dogs had proper exercise while having to keep them confined much of the time, it was an enormous relief to allow them to take care of their own needs to run and play. Our stress level zoomed down with this amenity, and we eased closer to feeling at home again.

The cats loved having us all together in a home again, keeping us awake the first night with grooming us, purring, rubbing our faces. We had no furniture for awhile except two desk chairs, built-in desks, a bed, dog beds, and lots of boxes and pillows for the cats. Chico San wandered the halls, asking for a soft chair for us to sit down together. Within a few weeks, we had rented furniture, and the cats were delighted with comfy spots to curl upon.

The owner could not afford to fence an area for the llamas but allowed us to do so. On December 1st, Regalo and Raindance moved from their corral in Point Reyes Station onto their grassy knoll 100 feet in front of our house, to take their rightful place surveying the surrounding hills and water below. I felt them bring the spirit of the high Andes mountains and infuse the countryside with llama enchantment. My heart felt full and at peace. Our family circle was becoming more whole.

Our chickens were well tended and loved by Garnet in their temporary home about an hour away, but we missed them, seeing them for the first time since the fire on December 3rd. They required a very secure shelter to protect against predators and the strong winter winds.

The Fire of Spirit
We honor the spirit of growth and renewal in us all, with deep love and thanks to our dear animal friends who left this world through the fire: Ellyetta and Luciano, rabbits; Gloria and Samson, lizards; Zuni, canary; Quince, chinchilla; Perky Pete, cockatiel; Dandy, Ariel, Buck, Bluebelle, Grayson, Liberty, parakeets; unnamed Zebra finch; Jupiter, rooster.

We honor our animal friends who survived the fire and grace our daily lives: Buddha Boy and Reya, Afghan hounds, Chico San, Heyoka, Yohinta, and Sherman, cats; Pirouette, cockatiel; Regalo and Raindance, llamas; Sugar Pops, Plum, Aureo, Marigold, Marietta, Hanna, Gevette, Spinky, Antoinette, bantam chickens; Iglet (Jupiter's mother, who left her body peacefully December 12th), Celeste, Stormy, Maizie, Melissa, Sadie, Jespa, Araucana hens; Hazelnut, Hilary, Polish hens.

After hearing that our sanctuary had burned, Sananjaleen sent us a beautiful message from the essence or group energy of the animals who gave their lives in the coastal fires.

And we do not consider that we gave our lives. We do consider that we pooled our energies and created a focus, a focal point of energy dynamics through which the lives of others may pass to Spirit, to higher realms—a higher frequency than the one they leave. And it was not just those that perished in the fire who may utilize this vortex that we are. It is all Life, all ones within this radius that we serve who may avail themselves of our Love, our gift. We would have you view our departure as a cohesive unit of Oneness—drawn together by one purpose. For that we came. For that we lived. For that we released our essence into this land to create, to build, to establish a vortex, an opening, a dimensional doorway from the higher realms into the center of this Earth.

And it could not have been opened or created had the base not been prepared, in Love, by so many who came, and each added fuel to the Fire of Spirit until the furnace was complete, and the draft was opened and the air came in, the air of Spirit.
The Holy Spirit passed through this land to the Earth Star's Heart, because the way had been made clear by love."

Thanks for all your support during this time of crisis. The complexity of life has increased enormously with the demands of recovery of home and business and the multitude of steps required to complete the insurance claim procedure. The food, clothes, cash, cat toys, dog biscuits, bird supplies, writing/desk materials, toiletries, books, crystals, stones, seeds, and household goods that have been sent are all well utilized by us or others in need. We are moved, warmed, and filled with love at your thoughtfulness.

In blessings on this anniversary of profound transformation.

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