Earth...Water...Air...Fire: The four elements of nature: Beautiful and serene. But also fierce. And the most fearsome of all: Fire!
For those of us who live near our forests the hot summer months make us feel on the edge. We live in a matchbox. And during these years of drought, as we begin to see the effects of climate change, every twig or leaf becomes tinder for the next mammoth fire.
On August 17th 2013, a hunter's illegal campfire got out of control. Soon that fire spread throughout Tuolumne and Mariposa Counties. The Rim Fire nearly destroyed some of America's most precious public lands, covering 257,314 acres.
The King Fire began on September 13th, 2014, and lasted for over a month. It scorched over 97,000 acres of beautiful forest land and threatened numerous lives and small rural communities in El Dorado County.
On September 9th, 2015, a spark ignited the Butte Fire in Amador County, and then spread south to Calaveras County. In the end 70,868 acres were destroyed, along with nearly 500 homes lost.
The Summer of 2017 has offered no comfort for Californians. We live with it. Along the way we learn the power of the Legend of the Phoenix as we continue to rise up from ashes. We go on.
Storyteller, archivist and author Cynthia Restivo guides her story audience in a community forum on how storytellers & artists can be of service as survivors try to make meaning out of chaos. Through the power and art of storytelling, Restivo helps us see ways to find recovery and rebirth after devastating events.
Work that began as a strong personal calling to dig in and help Butte Fire survivors with daily comfort and needs has evolved into providing a platform to help these same families rebuild their lives fragment by fragment. Since the fire's inception, Cynthia has felt a strong pull to help the many families of Mountain Ranch, CA, in remote Calaveras County through interviews, archiving and listening with deep intention.
Her efforts to gather these stories continues. Recently she received a National Storytelling Network Member grant to transcribe the stories for eventual publication. She is working with other artists in the region to discover ways to create powerful memorials of the 2015 Butte Fire.
Saturday 10/15/16 3pm, Free Event