Driving back and forth to Holy Shift last weekend, I passed through the communities along highway 33 – Rock Creek, Beaverdell, Carmi – and my heart went out to them. The highway was closed last summer because of forest fires, and the devastation was clear to see.
The burnt trees stood like silent sentinels to the power of fire. The damage goes well beyond the burnt trees. Connections to the land are the connections to our souls, and the burnt landscape mirrors the spiritual trauma we experience after a fire.
Beyond that, there is damage to watersheds and wildlife habitat. Clean water is essential to life. Shelter and food are essential to life.
Within the devastation signs of hope and regrowth. Prayer flags fluttered between burnt trees. Grass springing up between fallen logs and other fire debris. Resurrection.
I pulled over to take these pictures, and to spend a few moments in prayer – sending love and light to the souls slowly dragging themselves back to new life.
Praying also that we have a fire free summer. Snow still sits along the roadside at the mountain passes, but the valleys in between are dry. I watched as the rain ran over parched burnt earth … earth too damaged to absorb the life giving water. Please pray with me that communities have the time and space to heal, that the wounded earth heals, and that we all adjust our lifestyles to enable this healing to happen.