Friday, April 27, 2007



I got just plum down over the lack of progress in the re-greening of the hills.

Each day I would try and concentrate on my orders and my shop work, and every glance out the window seemed to leave me surprised at how wrong the colors looked, as if I hadn't noticed the discordances before.

Or maybe it bothered me so much because I have been on this earth long enough that the "correct" colors for spring are etched into my brain as familiar as my own child’s face. This aberrant seasonal display was as glaring as if a child had come home with a black eye, and as a mother, I could not tear my eyes away from it across the dinner table, searching it constantly for some sign of healing or a sign of a more hidden, serious damage.

This state of disconcertion would seem mild in the days to come, as the family coped with the shock of my brother’s house burning down to the ground.

After the initial relief that no one was hurt, I spent the week sorting through emotions, while they spent the week sorting through ashes. My concern for these people that I love, two adults and six precious children, seemed to somehow focus on measuring their loss and their emotions, as if by utilizing some magic gauge I could pronounce the stress less, or the recovery easier.

All religions say that fire is a great teacher. Everyone takes from it their own lessons, and at their own speed.

Despite my searching, it was many days before I saw my first sign, and only after my emotions had settled from a boil to a simmer.

I believe that if there were a recipe for the "stew of life force" a prominent ingredient would be resiliency.

Animals and plants have no choice about recovery; they are driven unquestioningly by life force. They don't have expectations about the face of recovery being identical to the one that was destroyed, they will accept the new face and adapt, or die.

People have questions about meaning and purpose, and they carry secret burdens of guilt, blame or regret. They crave that familiar face, the comfort of the colors being what they should be, of the scenery being familiar, the house standing in the same spot.

Some people accept the speed of the process, others grow impatient and still others fertilize their recovery with faith.

I am working on patience.


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