Over the past few years, my partner and I have been drawn to places known for their rocks and trees. This time, we made a trek to South Lake Tahoe. We stayed in a town named Heavenly. But it wasn’t about where we were staying, it was where we were. We drove the windy roads into the mountains and loved the miles and miles of tree covered hills and that we finally got to see some massive rocks. When we saw the recent devastation of a wildfire, it was quieting. We stopped talking and tried to take it all in. A forest fire isn’t like burning a piece of wood in a fireplace, a fire pit or a wood stove. In those cases, there’s nothing left but ash. In a forest fire, the trees remain standing. They turn brown and the land turns black. The enormity of the fire amazed me. Thinking about the pinpoint that was us in our car and looking over the thousands of acres that were consumed by the fire was bigger than I could comprehend. I thought about the firefighters and just how small they were, just like us. There were signs along the highway thanking them. I can’t imagine how anyone couldn’t have compassion and admiration for our heroes.
I wondered if the burn on the land was like a burn on our skin. It hurts but it heals. It’s never quite the same in that area but it rebuilds itself, mending the pain. We love trees. They’re so massive and majestic. They have a story to tell, they clean our air, they stand tall and proud. Combine the trees with the rocks and we tend to find where we fit in best. Rocks and trees hold this earth together for us to live on. We listen to them, we cherish them and we respect them.