Lessons from the Fires

“Sacred fire, that shapes this land,

Summer teacher, winter friend.

Protect us as we learn anew,

To work, to heal, to live with you.”

This is the chant we sing each summer as part of the fire protection ritual we do on my land in Western Sonoma County. […]

Equinox Blessings!

Spring Equinox—Eostar, the festival of the ancient Goddess who gave her name to Easter. The days grow longer—now day and night are in perfect balance. I understand why eggs are such a part of this holiday—not just that they symbolize new life, but now with the longer days the chickens are laying abundantly. I […]

A Wild and Diverse Earth Activist Training!

Pandora Thomas on our site visit.






Our January Earth Activist Training opened with the sound of clapper sticks and flutes, and the steady beat of a Pomo drum. Our old friend Neil, who has spent many years doing solidarity work with local tribes, had arranged for two […]

January 2013 Earth Activist Training in Pictures!

I’ve been wanting to write about our Earth Activist Training but made the mistake of actually taking a few days off, afterwards— But here’s pictures! It was an amazing training—our most diverse yet, because we had a little money left over from a grant, so I decided to offer diversity scholarships to people of color who are working on environmental and food justice. […]

What Can and Can’t Be Fixed

But reflecting on these events, it occurred to me that the guys and I live in different realities. Jim and Jay, attuned to machines, believe that there are logical causes for things and that they can find those causes and fix things. I, on the other hand, believe that there are mysterious forces at work beyond my comprehension, that machines are inhabited by evil or beneficent spirits that need to be placated, and that no matter how well you build something, it will inevitably break down. I’m thinking about that as I read posts about the ongoing melt-downs at Fukushima in Japan and as my friends organize to protest the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant’s application for relicensing. […]

Home Again--and On To the Next Adventure!

My most immediate new adventure? Next week I’m taking an exciting course in Aquaponics—the system of integrated fish farms and greenhouses that hold immense promise for urban food production. […]

The Miracle of the Hydro

The hydro continues to run. It may come apart in the next storm, but until then, I’m not touching the pipe. My other mantra is “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” The point is, sometimes healing just happens. The onery, contrary universe offers us a bit of grace. I’m grateful. It’s nearly solstice, and the lights remain on. […]

Rain and Cold

Today my friends are in Copenhagen protesting at the Climate Change Forum. I’m in Cazadero, doing my bit for climate change by trying to get my microhydro system working now that the rains have come. […]

Compelled to Can

Yes, I confess, I’m a Jam Hoarder. I make it, I put it in the cupboard, and then I find myself reluctant to use it. What if we need it later? What if civilization falls apart and these preserves are the last bit of sweetness we’ll ever know, as the waters rise and the trees bake to ash under the blazing sun of climate change? […]

Meanwhile, Back At the Ranch

Home at last! First back to San Francisco, then finally back up to the ranch in the Cazadero hills.

The good news—my housemates in the city have actually kept the gardens watered, and even the tubs in front of the garage were flourishing. Tomatoes were growing up my tomato tower and the graywater […]