We drove through a forest of scorched trees on the way to the top of the mountain. The branches stretched out and down in defeat, carbon coated bark stripping down to reveal white dry wood. I held my breathe behind clenched teeth in tribute to the loss. Rows after rows after rows of trees burned in place, monuments to carelessness.
Tiny flowers are growing out of the charcoal. Indian Paintbrush, Lupin, and Yarrow dot the side of the rows. Fireweed leans proudly against tree stumps and wave as we pass.
This is how it feels when outside forces barrel in and scorch the skin only to leave the flesh underneath tempered and dry. Regrowth is quiet and slow. It happens one petal, one stem at a time. Each plant reclaims ground lost to flames. The fire will not win.
We will grow anew.