28 Apr Healing with the trees
Posted at 13:30h in airstream trailer, Blogs, colorado fire, conifer fire, forest service, kristen moeller, north fork fire, wildfire 10 Comments
I coach my author clients to sit for as long as it takes to get words on a page. This morning, my resistance is robust. I am pulled to zone out. I don’t want to write. Tired of saying the same things in different ways, I worry you are tired too. I indulged in a very large peanut butter cookie last night (I know, alert the press!) and have a sugar hangover. Fuzzy headed, my thoughts are sludge. I misplaced my reading glasses so I squint and barely make out the screen. Yet, still I sit. I remember my darkest day yet was the day I chose not write… I don’t want to go there again. Writing has become my way of greeting the day, of processing what needs to be processed. Yes, I may be saying similar things. My brain is still attempting to make sense of the nonsensical. It is still processing the trauma. And, as the numbness wears off the jagged reality emerges. There is no going back. This is my new life. Who would have thunk it?
Yesterday, I watched the last of the metal scraps that once were my house be towed away. As the flatbed flexed to pick up the load, I caught a final glimpse before it disappeared from view. Pieces of my house, pieces of my life, memories turned into heaps of metal tumbled together then vanished down the road on their journey to recycling.
As I waited for my next “appointment”, with Skybeam (our internet provider), a mostly decimated Aspen grove beckoned me. Heeding the call, I sat with the trees for a few minutes. The moment I entered the grove, I felt their sadness, saw their tears, experienced their pain. Some had exploded into tiny pieces, dismembered, the stark white bark against blackened soil. Some lay intact, yet disconnected forever from their earth, their roots turned into black sooty mush. Some remained standing, their ultimate fate unknown. Smokey perfume filled the grove; I held their dead bodies and wept for us all.
Then Skybeam showed up and I shifted gears as we went to explore the next phase of this journey – the prospect of home office-ing out of our Airstream. It turned out that the strongest signal is at our property, and I made the executive decision that we would move the trailer to our land and begin living there May 11th.
Miraculously, grass is growing on the land bringing some color and life to the moonscape. It is fitting to think about living there again. Like us, it is scorched, edgy, raw, tired, and wounded and yet the will to transform is evident. The invitation is to walk through this together. The dark sooty ground, mangled trees and scorched rocks will normalize our pain. The delicate clumps of green grass will remind us of the regenerative power of nature.
The world will go on, yet we will heal gradually with the land. We don’t have to rush our process. It will take decades for the land to truly heal. It will be patient with us and we will be patient with it. When the world seems to forget our pain, we will be comforted to know the land hasn’t forgotten. Eventually our scars will mend and something new will arise. We can’t know what it will look like yet. We can’t know who we will be yet. We will discover who we will become together. Every season we will morph and change, yet our hard-earned raw beauty will remain, always a reminder of the power of fire to transform.