Friday, June 11, 2010

Firestorm

I was skyping with a good friend this morning and the subject rolled around to firestorms. We both knew, having lived in the West, that there are certain fires which are necessary for the health of forests. They burn away the dead material. They create space for sunlight. They open the world to new species. In fact, some fires burn so brightly and fiercely that they manage to burst open certain pine cones, which allows the cones to spread their seeds and extend their horizons. As outsiders, we fixate on the aftermath...the destruction. But for the forests, it is part of the natural cycle of life.

Cannot the same be said for human relationships? Sometimes we encounter individuals who burn us so deeply that we feel destroyed. But, this is because we're in the moment and still feel the fire's immediate effects. Parts of us are singed. Other parts crack open and we begin to notice growth that seemed impossible. With time we encounter wonderment, strength and gratitude. The trick is not to get stuck in the aftermath of the fire. Notice the forests. After a raging fire, though seemingly impossible, growth happens. Green spurts burst through soil. Saplings creep up and reach for sunlight. Animals come to pick off insects drawn to the dead wood. New ecosystems form. It's fascinating and humbling.

I don't think any of us escape human firestorms. Some of us encounter them again and again. If you, sweet soul reading this, finds that this rings true for your experience. Have faith. Growth is on its way and new life will find you. If the lesson of forests is true, then how could it not?