Publisher's Note

Spring is the season of new growth, fresh beginnings, and renewal. I think we could all use some of that these days. The Mendocino County hillsides that were charred black just five month ago are now carpeted in brilliant green grass. All of those affected by the wildfires are doing their best to give thanks for what remains and to rebuild, piece by piece, the lives they once knew. A friend who lost her home has reached out through social media to see if anyone has photos of her in her youth. All the pictures that made up her visual history were lost to the flames. She is gathering a new history.

I too am creating a new life. When I lost my husband of twenty years in an instant, I did not know how I would ever move forward. But move forward I have, minute by minute, day by day, and life continues. I am surrounded by loving family and friends, and they are helping me craft a new future. One filled with memories of Gabe and our love but without him physically present.

Stagnation is never a good option, particularly after a crisis. That’s why this issue offers stories of coming together, exploring how we weather the storm and come out the other side. Stories like how the volunteer fire crew at Ridgewood Ranch managed to save their homes against impossible odds; or the pioneers at Living Light Culinary School who promote health through plant-based cooking, drawing folks from all over the world to Fort Bragg, California; or the owners of Oco Time, who serve up peace and nourishment with every bowl of ramen or plate of sushi. They are all helping our community be healthier, safer and stronger.

As we look forward to longer days, more light, and warmth, we ask ourselves: Is it possible that our community, pets and family can help us heal? That nourishing food and drink can revive our spirits? Can spring wildflowers, prayer, meditation or a stroll along our coastal bluffs feed our souls? Maybe so. Let’s all choose to believe in the renewal of spring.

Yours in hope,

Holly Madrigal