Monday 4 October 2021


The first time I saw the devastation the Lytton Creek fire had wreaked along my route to work, I cried. Large patches of the formerly beautiful forest stretching along the road had burnt down, leaving dark, skinny sticks behind. The ground was scorched, blackened and bare. I saw burnt-out shells of cars, piles of ashes in place of the buildings that used to be there, and hills that looked like they had put on their widow's weeds, black replacing the green.

That was right after the highway had reopened, a few short weeks after the fire had blazed through. After the initial shock, I noticed a lot of other, much more uplifting things: the wild sheep were still all there. 
The two or three separate groups of half-wild horses had banded together, grazing right next to the road every single day, 15+ horses strong. 
Chipmunks were crossing the road right in front of my car as if on a Kamikaze mission, just as they do every fall. (They are way too fast to be caught by me and my grandma-like driving style.)

All the fruit stands along the way had survived. 

So had most houses, some of them feet away from the burnt-down earth. 
And so had the bears:

But the best part? The earth is coming back already. There is fresh, lusciously green grass sprouting at a time of year where usually nothing new grows. Our cowboy friend Bill calls it "freedom grass" - I call it hope. Witnessing the transformation from seemingly dead to new life in such a short time is like witnessing a miracle. The animals are still there, the plants are coming back, and everything seems possible. Seeing this rebirth is the most hopeful process I have ever had the privilege of observing. 

If nature can survive a fire of that magnitude, what can we survive? As always, nature shows us in her gentle yet powerful way how small our problems really are. In my 41 years I've gone through some tough stuff, but so far I'm just like the forest after a fire: I continue to grow, blossom and to be reborn, even if it isn't my season. 
Like the half-wild horses, I'm finding new members to add to my tribe, and to hold on to my old ones.
Like the chipmunks, I keep running and outsmarting those who try to hurt me.

Mama Bear shows me that you can raise kids even in difficult times, and I'm applying this to raising my dogs and to being (hopefully) a good role model for my grandson.   

The hills, who respectfully dressed in black after the fire, are now cheerfully back to their old, colourful selves. Amongst the almost lurid green of the new grass are the brilliant red and golden hues of the maples and Dogwoods. 

I, too like to dress up in an especially colourful outfit after I've survived something bad. It's how we express our joy and gratitude! 

Nothing is ever as bad as it seems at first. 
Nothing ever lasts as long as we fear it will. 
Nothing is hopeless. 
We will rise out of the ashes, out of despair, out of whatever we perceive as rock-bottom. 

Freedom grass is about to grow out of the worst experiences of our life. 



  1. So happy to read your hopeful message! It brings a smile to my face!

    1. Thanks Debbie! Nature is the most wonderful teacher and healer. I'm awed by her resilience and ability to always come back. It's so hopeful!

  2. That's a beautiful message :)

    1. Thanks D! It's so nice to hear/read from you! Hope everything is going well in your life?

    2. It is! I'm starting a new job in a few weeks and just came back from a short trip to Vienna. I'm trying to find comfort in these weird times by enjoying the little things, as always :)

    3. The little things are the big things anyway :-)
      I'm glad you're finding joy despite all the craziness! I hope your new job will be great!


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