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Coping with Fragility in a Changing World

Purple picture of the earth from space

As smoke descends on our small mountain town in the Sierras, it forces us to shutter our windows and turn on the air filter.

Another monster forest fire rages, sending thousands fleeing the flames, seeking shelter, hoping the brave firefighters can save their homes. The inferno spreads at incredible speed.

One report says it is burning at the rate of twenty-four football fields per minute. Pictures of billowing plumes rising high into the atmosphere conjure apocalyptic images. It is close enough to grab our attention, far enough away that our “go-bag” remains in the house.

We have lived here for more than a quarter of a century, and whe