The first day of September.

In reflecting over the past eight months, I’m struck by how vitally important it has been that I’ve followed my dreams and listened to my intuition.

2020 has been quite the year. Coronavirus, shelter-in-place, quarantine, 183,000+ people have died, protests for racial equality and calling out systemic racism, Black Lives Matter, virtual (somewhat) political conventions, raging wildfires in my home state… and we are only to September. Oh yeah… and I started the year by moving.

It’s been extra challenging these past two weeks. There had been a hurricane in Baja California, Mexico. When the remnants of that storm passed north over California, we had over 1100 lightning strikes August 15 and 16th.

The first thunder clap I heard was so intense it woke me from a deep sleep. My initial thought was trees were crashing into my house and my next thought was to check if I was dead or alive. It was so loud. And of course my dogs freaked out!

At this time of year, California is in the last few months of the dry season and lightning storms come without much rain, which causes fires to start. A tree struck by lightning can hold fire within its trunk for hours or days before catching ablaze. That’s why these fires were so erratic. Multiple fires started and burned together into a complex of fires. Every county around the San Francisco Bay Area had a wildfire, except San Francisco, and affected over 9 million people.

I live 2.5 hours from San Francisco in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The lightning storm started a fire about four miles from my house. My new home. Where I just landed after moving from the Santa Cruz Mountains. It started early Monday morning and around 9am I received the notice that I was on evacuation warning.

Packing the car to evacuate gets intense. What to take? What is important? Dogs, leashes, their food. Important papers. Some underwear and a few favorite items of clothing. My laptop and guitar. I looked around the house and realized nothing else much mattered. I couldn’t take it all even though I really love the special things I have in my home.

It turned out Cal-Fire managed the fire close to my house fairly quickly. I was on the evacuation warning for three days and I never had to leave.

In the middle of my own local fire watch, I was awaken the second night around 10:45pm by the sheriff’s department telling me to evacuate immediately… from the house I had just moved from last December. My former town and neighborhood was threatened by a very big wildfire.

I watched for days as friends and family evacuated to safety. Every morning I checked the websites to see if the little towns in the mountains had survived the night. It was harrowing to observe and to feel powerless.

A dear friend and I started a vigil. We imagined the angels surrounding all of California with their cooling, healing energy. We called in the fog and the marine layer that cools the coast. We asked for prayers to assist the firefighters and the first responders battling all the fires.

Lots of people joined us. It was palpable and amazing and things shifted!

Today, almost two weeks later, the fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains is 39% contained. Over 1280 structures and homes have been lost. The quaint and essential business areas of the small towns were saved.

The amazing part of all of this has been realizing that September 2019 I got an intuitive nudge to move away from the area that is now evacuated because of the fires. I’d only lived in that house for eleven months and yet it wasn’t right for me. That house didn’t support my dreams. I felt tight and compressed living there. I didn’t feel expansive.

I struggled at first with the ideas swirling in my mind of “what will people think” about my moving twice in a year? And ultimately it came down to a simple question: “I know I don’t want to stay here, why wait?” That was the motivating factor. I know so I’m doing something about it. Right now.

Today my former neighborhood in Boulder Creek is still evacuated, and on top of that the water in the area is contaminated. The warnings are dire. No filtering, no usage and no boiling. It may be weeks before they can go home. What a time!

Our dreams tell us so much about what is important in our lives. Each of us have thoughts, wishes, dreams and desires. It’s how we recognize them and work with them that makes our life rich and fulfilled. Many times we don’t know the outcome of the choices and the steps we take until sometime in the future. And we won’t recognize the outcomes unless we act on our dreams.

Dreams require trust. Trust in ourselves. Trust in our deep inner knowing.

If I hadn’t trusted myself I would be displaced right now.

I’m very concerned about my former neighbors and their well-being. My heart goes out to all of the people affected by the fires. We aren’t out of the woods yet. California has a few more months to go before the rainy season begins.

I will continue to ask the angel guides for their protection. I will continue following my dreams and trusting to my intuition.

It’s taken me this far. I’m listening even harder now.




“Dry lightning storm rolled through the Santa Cruz mountains last night. Here is the biggest one I captured. There is around a half mile in view, just to give size reference. The feeling of electric in the air was amazingly exhilarating and deadly scary at the same time!”

Photo by Derek Baillif photography, Boulder Creek, California
August 15, 2020