We went for a drive on the weekend and ended up driving through acres and acres of forest that had burned two years ago. It was so stark; almost a shock to drive through beautiful evergreen forest and suddenly be in a landscaped transformed by wildfire.
This time of year can be stark here in any case as the grasses and bushes are still winter worn and dry, and the willows are just beginning to show little fuzzies of impending spring. It’s a time of frost coming out of the ground, mud, rushing creeks and sunshine warming us up in a hurry.
As we drove through the burn, looking at the extent and almost painfulness of it, we marvelled at the unexplained randomness of a tall green tree in the middle of the burned patches, and I noticed the blazing blue sky above.
The blue of the sky brought the beauty and the deep-breath feeling that the clear Canadian sky still brings to me even after seeing it for years. The sky that in a strange way provides a grounding to me. I remember the first time I saw the bluest sky I could imagine and I marvelled at the absolute clarity of it – and I still do as I look out my window.
In the quiet time driving, my thoughts turned to a friend of mine who just last week held her Dad’s hand as he took his last breath and passed away. She had lost him before that though as he fell into the depths of dementia. As she talked about this, and posted a picture of her with her Dad, I was reminded painfully of losing my Dad much the same way and of a picture I have of Dad and I mirroring hers. Dementia and Alzheimer’s are insidious like a slow burn as we watch our loved one slip into that unstoppable inferno.
It was quite awhile before I could look through the pain and see the beauty and the memories and take a full deep breath knowing that there is blue sky after the burn but it did happen. I wish this for you, Kim.