a few weeks ago
I took a walk around the property where I am now living.
I set out early … just after the sun rose.
The weekend that we made the bedroom-furniture transfer
from the old house to the new one
is the weekend that we topped the hill above our property
to find several fire trucks battling a fire
that had jumped the fire pit and was raging through the pines.
Even though the fire was legal with a burn permit,
sometimes nature has a mind of its own.
Such was the case that morning.
A quick response from the fire team
and the fact that the fire pit is far from inhabited buildings
allowed the fire to be extinguished without much harm.
And the beauty that has sprung up since that morning
If you look closely, you can see the tiny sprigs of green new life below.
When I look back on that morning that I wandered in worship,
I remember that I didn’t wonder about the classification of those wisps of life
stretching from the charred earth.
I didn’t even wonder “What are those little plants?”
In retrospect, that strikes me as odd.
I always wonder … and question.
I guess I was so taken by all the beauty … I just accepted it and soaked it all in without questioning.
I even photographed a few of the curls of vegetation.
This week, I had a chance to visit with my sweet landlord as she tended the fire pit
overseeing a month’s worth of brush turn to ash.
We sat for a good hour and chatted children and grandchildren,
spouses and pets,
gardening, investments and poor customer service skills.
Before heading back home,
she drew my attention to the patch of ferns that had sprung up
amongst the pines.
HOW had I missed them?
All of those curls of green
were ferns, now tall and full.
The green was striking against the background of blackened trees
and the amber carpet of pine straw.
As I walked home,
I thought about how life is so cyclic …
death and rebirth
injury and healing
winter and spring
questioning and answering.
Sometimes we have to sit in the tough places for longer than we would like.
Sometimes we walk through grief for longer than others understand.
Sometimes the distance between injury and healing feels endless.
But, be encouraged.
Today is a new day.
Rebirth is coming.
Healing is near.
Spring is beginning.
Answers can be found.
Even when we don’t stop to wonder and question,
answers will come.
Your walk through struggle and grief is yours.
Nobody gets to tell you “Get over it,”
“Move on” or “Forget about it.”
This is YOUR life. These are YOUR experiences.
If it takes you a little longer than other people to process and work through your pains,
Other people want to rush you because they know they can’t “fix” it for you
and it makes them uncomfortable.
Or they know they’ve caused the pain and they feel guilt.
Or they don’t deal with their own messes so they don’t want to watch you deal with yours.
Well, you don’t have to hide your pain
in order to make other people comfortable.
You take your time. Walk through it. Look at it. Work it out.
Like the fern pushing through the blackened earth
unfurling towards the light,
there is a newness and a freshness coming.
You take as long as you need.
I encourage you to give yourself that permission.
Because it is better to walk through it
than look the other way
and act as if the pain is not there at all.
This morning and every morning, growth makes me happy.
What makes you happy this marvelous Monday morning?