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For many years I have attended the Fire Speaks event at Mt. Tamalpais in Northern California. The setting is extraordinary and deeply sacred. This year, in the shadow of the great mountain, we were warmly welcomed into the camp where the evening’s event was to be held. The tent was festooned with colorful decorations. There were familiar faces and new ones, a feeling of warmth and calm excitement. There was delightful laughter and beautiful songs and poems as we waited for Grandfather Fire.

When the Spirit of Fire began speaking, the feeling of deep heart and wisdom was palpable, a source of nourishment and sanity in a fragmented world. He spoke of how much we need our connection with community and with nature, how we have over-complicated our lives and become disconnected. And this leaves us with a gnawing sense of something missing. He generously answered our questions about how we deal with the challenges of our contemporary lives.

I was most moved when Grandfather Fire spoke of finding our sense of purpose and meaning by willingly “picking up the heaviest thing” we see set before us and learning to share those burdens with others, so that we find that it is not so hard.


— Maxima Kahn

September 24, 2019