[On the first day of Reunion, I noticed Ricardo’s smiling face. I knew he was new, and he seemed to be there alone, and it struck me how courageous he was as a 20-year-old man entering this space teeming with the joy and heat of established community. I had the privilege of hearing the words of Ricardo’s heart as we sat in circle after making offerings to the sacred river. Now that he’s had a taste of Sacred Fire at Reunion, Ricardo is looking forward to returning to the fire again and again. I asked him to share his experience of Reunion with all of you and he graciously agreed.  —Erin Everett, Editor]

The Sacred Fire Community Reunion 2012 was shortlived.

It was my first time with the Community and hopefully not the last. I found it very special, eventful, needed. I did not expect much probably since i was new to it, but wow the experience brought to me something i had not felt much since i was a young boy. I felt alive.


Ricardo Sanchez (left) dances with Sacred Fire and the Haudenosaunee Singers and Dancers at Reunion.

There was good food, great people, good times, good music and also some personal sad heartfelt moments that Blue Deer Center always seems to bring out. Those moments where you let out so much that was held in and in the end feel much lighter. I got to see some old friends i made at Blue Deer like Kristina Mark Linda Elliot Dan and Dana. And I got to make more friends! My buddy Dan was the one who told me about the reunion a month before and told me i should come. At that time, i knew nothing about the Sacred Fire Community but leaving Blue Deer the first time was so hard i had to come back. I am so glad i did.

The experience is almost indescribable for me — so much happened in those 3 days, and once again i found it hard to accept that it was gonna end. Something about people getting together, greeting each other and accepting each other feels so right. It’s not something i find back home on a daily basis. I was reminded the importance of unity and love.

Too many times i find myself in an atmosphere of separation. Enough times to make me buy into it. As i was finishing high school, i began to believe the idea of “survival of the fittest” and every man for himself. That to me is how i made sense of the world i was raised in. Starting high school, kids were either at the top or bottom trying to be on top. Kids on top were shallow. They didn’t care about much when they spoke or acted. Maybe it was the media. Could also be the norms of a capitalist society where competition rules. It made little sense to me at first, but hey i thought if I cant beat them, join them. I mimicked them only to realize this is not who i am.

I do care about how people feel. I like to help others, I get a great joy when someone is smiling, and i feel for those that are hurt. Being on top wasn’t so great when I was alone. After much suffering, i began to question my way of life. When i was “Celebrating Deep Community” at the Reunion, something inside me told me, this is the way i want to live. Before that, i was searching for a new way of life. The search had me realize that all the suffering in my life was because of the way i was living, in separation. Maybe that’s what brought me to Blue Deer. Maybe that’s what made Dan tell me to come to the Reunion and maybe that’s why i came. A search for a new way of life.

I see many ways of living. I think about reptiles, who are mostly solitary and cold blooded. That’s one way of living. I also see dogs, apes, lions, and other mammals who understand that through unity they can also be strong and well fit to survive. There is still separation with different packs and territories. The Sacred Fire Community has made me think about humans: are we meant to live in separation and suffer? Or are we meant to unite, and celebrate one world family?

Learn more about what Ricardo is talking about:

Read the Sacred Fire Community’s mission statement and take the Stand.

The heart of our community are our community fires. Find your fire.

Celebrate and honor the cycles of life with our Lifeways programs.

Discover deep community.

Read more 2012 Reunion Expressions.