Saving Paradise After The Fire

View from the house on Mountain Lion Road, Ojai
View from the house on Mountain Lion Road

The terrible fires that burned the last cabin we stayed in at Ojala, and our previous house on Sulphur Mountain, (and maybe the house on Mountain Lion Road) are finally out, to be replaced by mudslides. Over seventy structures burned just in and around Ojai, and many residents lost everything. Friends from Ojai have flown here to the wet and clean Pacific Northwest for fresh air. Others remain to clean ash and debris, help friends and pets, and deal with the shock of a world recently in flames around them.

Still, the Ojai Valley Defense Fund continues its essential work. And a grass roots citizen’s group here near Hood Canal just helped gain a one year reprieve to save a forty-acre forest from becoming a shooting range (Tarboo Ridge Coalition success.)

As communities all over the world struggle to preserve their character, my essay,  “Saving Paradise,” in Still Point Artists Quarterly (starting on page 25) remains timely.  My intention is to encourage neighbors and citizens, no matter what their other differences, to protect our dwindling wild and sacred spaces. Every voice counts.

I thank the editors at Still Point for their beautiful design and interactive features that include links to a Joanie Mitchell video, “They Paved Paradise,” and a documentary, “DamNation,” about ongoing efforts to remove destructive dams that threaten wild salmon and other species. And I thank all of you who have already read and shared my story, and particularly those purchasing copies. Please continue to pass it on.

Thank you for your support See a pdf of the story here: Saving Paradise by Kirie Pedersen 

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