I’m a hostage to Ash

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This is the most personal blog I’ll probably ever write about, so read and take heed.

I’m a hostage to the Ash.

I was out in the forest the other day, to the ‘burn’ as I call it. I was mushroom hunting for Morels. Two years ago, a forest fire raged through hectares and hectares of forest and left vast devastation. I saw the carnage of it all last year and I didn’t think much on it. This is all part of nature. It will regrow and burns are great for Morels! This year however, the forest fire impacted in a way I didn’t expect. The still charred land in front of me…was me…is me.

Lucky for me, there is new healthy growth raising from the ashes in that charred and burnt woodland.

You see, metaphorically speaking, I am rising out of the ashes.

A little while ago, I allowed an ember to burn and it eventually got out of control. It almost burned my whole forest to the ground. It also burned and scarred adjacent forests.

Embers you see, can be nice to look at, maybe even throw a little bit of warmth your way. But don’t be fooled…they can be dangerous if they are not put out. Don’t feed it the life force it needs to grow into a raging fire.

I had quite the beautiful forest; many creatures and forest folk visited and dwelled in it. It was so lush and green…so I thought. Part of my forest got sick and I didn’t see it. Well, I ignored it. There, the ember took hold and soon after, the fire spread. Many inhabitants were destroyed. Some managed to get out, but not unharmed.

Oh the inferno it caused!

The fringes of my forest still stand. Some of the creatures have come back. Some are gone forever.

It hurts. It hurts to know when you are the cause of such devastation. Hasn’t my mom always taught me not to play with fire? Oh so pretty ad warm though.

I have been breathing and choking on ashes for a while now, struggling for breath. Tripping over the fallen charred trees. All the while, looking over the barren grey and black landscape.

What have I done? What did I do?

I sought forgiveness. Some was given. Some wasn’t. Still so much ash in the air, and hot spots across the land.

Evidence of forest fires stay for years and years. Even if a tree survives and continues to grow, there is scar tissue on the inside. It never disappears. It heals, but the reminder is there…always…just underneath.

Healing…

Given enough time, all things heal right? The classic old saying “time heals all wounds”. is now put through the test.

My forest is slowly rejuvenating . It’s slowly healing. The ash is settling and I see green tendrils reaching for the light. New promises and new hopes await. I didn’t think it would be possible.

My forest will never be the same again. But I do see it…just on the horizon of time… it will be renewed. I hope it will be renewed. New creatures and forest dwellers will enter and take a look around; perhaps even live and stay there. I must tend to it though; the inhabitants that have stayed with me throughout the forest fire, needs a healthy forest to live in. They need me to be healthy and whole again-lush and green. I feel guilty though; why should I become healthy and whole again after the destruction i caused? They tell me mistakes are made, let’s just never have a repeat. Ok?

I never want a repeat.

I miss some of the old inhabitants dearly. I shall always care for them. They taught me invaluable lessons. One the last lessons were ‘you play with fire, you are going to get burned.’  I really knew better. I still wonder why I didn’t listen my own judgment. Such a fool I am!

I know in reality how long it takes for forests to become, well, forests again after a fire. It disheartens me that it takes so long. Reminders will be evident for years. I search for the green daily. The ash that floats up when I’m trekking through my broken land adheres to my body. Every night, I wash it off. I look forward to the day where it’s not a ritual anymore. I’m a hostage to the ash, but its grip is loosening. There is less ash now.

There are a few quotes I try to remember on a continual basis:

“To every end, there is a beginning” and “where there is death, there is life”.

I try to count my blessings too. Some people who start forest fires do not make it out at all. They are burnt up entirely. Their world is utterly destroyed. I got out. Well, actually, I had a few people save me, along with the ultimate creator, God. If it wasn’t for them, I would be gone. I would be ash.

I forgot too, how many inhabitants of my forest depend on my woodlands and me. I must stay and be humble. I must continue. I must rise up.

But I am still sorry.

If there is ever an ember in your forest, don’t be a fool..squash it. It’s not worth the risk.

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