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Weekend Photos: The Fire And The Resurrection

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Having decided to go on a long road trip, I came across the remnants of a wildfire and the subsequent rebirth of rolling fields of grass. The fire burned through this rural neighborhood yet to my amazement I could find no lost homes or outbuildings in or around the path of destruction. I initially attributed this to a supremely adept firefighting operation. Yet in the end, according to a resident there who I spoke with, it was more nature that took care of its own.

Click upon each photograph to enlarge

Those who have resided in areas susceptible to wildfire know that if ever there is to be something good to be found there are among two things: Glorious sunsets of golden light filtering through smoke and dust, and waves of green germinating from fields of ash. The latter was certainly thriving today.

The neighbor I spoke with, who came along as I was setting up my camera, mentioned the cause of the fire was an exploding electrical transformer. I spoke of my observation of how the fire seemed to have been corralled away from the houses. He told me most of the damage was avoided by changing winds that almost seemed to have pushed the fire around the neighborhood. First down one field and before it hit a development it changed directions and conducted the conflagration down a houseless corridor until it was ultimately knocked down by the fire departments. Having myself seen countless wildland fires over my lifetime–they are a regular part of life where I am from–this was truly a rarity.

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Yes, it is easy to ascribe to nature human-like intent and will. Most likely there is no such conscious. Nature as a whole has no sense of self or purpose. It exists because that it simply “is” and that it “becomes”. And there can be tranquility in that.

I would suggest that we start the process of not being so homocentrically insular as a species, focused solely on our own drama and pursuits, and instead spend an occasional moment accepting that the earth we live in is all we ever have. Time, distance, and our own fallibility grant us no other options. Nature will renew itself as much as we continue to burn it down as we do. But at some point it will no longer grant us any reprieve or hospitality. It’s not personal. It’s strictly isness.

By Darren Smith

Images (C) 2020 Darren Smith

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.