Letter: With Gratitude

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Letter to the Editor

The week before Thanksgiving is usually filled with planning for the big turkey dinner. Not this year.

This week, the only thing I am concerned about is living in a state of grace.

I will be thankful for fresh air, clean water, family, friends and the chance to live out another day. I will check in with loved ones and give those I encounter a smile today. I will chose to live with compassion for those who have lost homes and family treasures. I will stay connected with my community and get curious and continue to ask, “How can I help protect my community better in the future?” I will be courageous to question authority when necessary and have the confidence to bring truth to power. I will ask for clarity to identify how we can win battles in the future.

In the past, we could rely on others to protect our lives and homes from destruction, but the paradigm has shifted. With climate change, drought and resources being stretched to the limit, we must reflect. We must be disrupters who think differently. We need to practice self-reliance and responsibility. We can no longer think we are going to be OK because someone will save us.

Most of us are out of touch with nature. We forget the natural ebb and flow of life. We don’t have to go to bed after the sun sets because we have electricity. We don’t have to notice which way the wind is blowing because we can shut our windows and close our doors and not have to worry.

Not in Malibu. In Malibu, we live a “way of life” that is far different. In Malibu, yo-yo! This means “you are on your own”. We live with nature; we try to protect our homes fiercely with all our hearts, but we know that we are at the mercy of the wind and of nature.

My heart aches for so many friends who have lost everything. The devastation is horrible. I have heard reports that nearly 600 homes are gone near Malibu. Point Dume and Malibu West were hit hard.

Today, I thank God, however, for the many lives saved. The first responders put their lives on the line and I am grateful. I am also so grateful for the many Malibu locals who took a “calculated risk” and protected their neighborhoods, armed with mighty hearts, garden hoses, shovels and wet rags. I am grateful for the way our community and many others around the country have come together to help those in need.

I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, but I know in my heart it’s going to take a community and collective action to save homes and lives in the future. It may take years for us to heal and recover, but no matter what, we will stay #malibustrong!

Pamela Conley Ulich