From the ash, a rustling...

 

The full impact of a wildfire hit me for the first time last year, following the overnight rampage of the devastating Valley Fire. The fire took four lives and immeasurably altered a thousand more in home losses and injuries. It was emotional, intense, and terrifying for those in Lake, Sonoma, and Napa counties.

(photo by David McNew)

Just last weekend, winding through Lake County roads on my way home from camping up north, I realized where I was. It was fascinating to see what the land had become, the blooms of new growth amidst evergreen graveyards (in some places) and those "lucky" trees that somehow remained un-charred. It reminded me of the final verse I wrote for Fire.

 

Unsurprisingly, it's really tough to build back...

 

I was walking along looking for somebody, and then suddenly I wasn't anymore.

 

 --Winnie The Pooh (A.A. Milne)

 

I don't really have the words to describe how participating in these last few Hipcamp campouts has warmed my heart, filled me with gratitude or affected my personal path.  I defer instead to the many wise words of A.A. Milne via Winnie, the Pooh Bear.   

(all photos by Monica Semergiu for Hipcamp Campout Series)

 For the second time this summer, the Hipcamp team has blown me away with their vision, values, and vibes....

 

I've got the V-DAY Blues, but it ain't what you think.

 

 

Many of you don't know that I moonlight a few times a year as a floral designer. Once upon a time, little collegiate Gillian wanted to better understand how one could transition the retail portion of the cut flower industry to some more sustainable practices--of course this is not the area where the worst pollution and waste is created but accessible enough for this wide-eyed, broke twenty-something to try to make a difference... 

(click title to read more)