It has been a difficult week here in Northern California. As I write, there are fires still raging 15 miles north of us and thousands of families have evacuated their homes. Many homes have been lost, schools were closed (many still are), and power was shut off for over 2 million people for three to five days. As the days get shorter, we observe the typical things that Autumn brings: leaves drying and changing color, cooler temps, wildlife gearing up for winter. We also notice that Fall has become a season of uncertainty. "Fire season" is a new normal here in California. We are all on high alert, ready to flee at a moment's notice.

Along with turning toward one other for support, we also look to our non-human community (the trees, birds, insects, etc.) for lessons on how to adapt to uncertain times. The other day as I arrived to work, I noticed our resident Bear Valley bobcat stretching out in the morning sunshine watching the humans bustling about their work. Observing this lovely creature (who we affectionately call "Bob") was a reminder in how to be present, observe, be flexible, stay calm, be prepared, and keep focused on our community and core work.