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I frequently visited sites of old forest fires. It was a wonderment to me, the process, laid clearly before me. Natures beauties stripped bare, devoured and ravaged. Sometimes by her own hand, more often though, by ignorance, tragic blunders or selfish intentions, of man. Yet new growth, striving for existence, freed by the destruction, springing forth, pushing its way through the devastation.
The beauty of new young life, erupting through the tale tale signs of depredation that came before. lush green grasses springing up beside the twisted worn skeleton of fire ravaged trees. Grey and charred, accented by rufescent oranges, as if tattooed by fire. The pitch pine blood of the old feeding and fostering the young, timid and frail natural topiary, struggling for life. Eloquent fronds reaching skyward, soaking in the nourishing rays of summer sunlight. The fragrant scents of new life, fresh and piercing, mingled among the charred and musty scents of defoliation.
Chipmunks and squirrels boisterous and full of vivacity, bounding among hollowed deadfalls. Playing, presenting a symphony of warbling chirps, confessing their joy in life. Seeking companionships and chattering amongst each other. A cottontail rabbit, silent and watchful, caution emblazoned on it’s beautiful quiet features. poised and ready to flee, sampling fresh sprigs of new mountain grass. Camp robins and blue jay’s, fluttering amid the naked stalks of tree limbs barren and scorched. Their sing song voices plaintive, sorrowful, and poignant.
I sit perched against a granite shard of stone, anonymous, quiet and still… a silent observer. To bear wittness with heavy heart, twisted by conflicting emotons. Aware of the ghosts of centuries old and the emergent spirits of urchins from a new day. Bitterness, stoic and unsteady from the loss of ancient grandeur, yet a certain wonderment and fascination at the burgeoning life dawning before my very eyes. The cycle to be repeated elsewhere in which we are insignificant spectators.