Sunday, September 19, 2010

Where the Fires Were

Today I took a ride up into Sunshine Canyon to see what it looked like now that the fires were out. There were whole mountainsides that looked like charcoal.

Then there were the places where the earth was scorched but some trees still stood and some even still had pine needles, although the needles were brown instead of green.

Two weeks ago you could see the night sky tinted orange above the mountains and in the daytime, smoke obscured the ridgelines, obliterating the usual profile against the sky.

It is funny the way the fire works. There was one house on top of a charred ridge that was made of wood, and it was not burned or even marred by smudge. Yet, just around the bend, there was just the remnants of a brick wall where another house once stood. There were odd contrasts like this all over, where the house on one side of the road was not burned and on the other side of the road, maybe a washer and drier and maybe a piece of the roof by the chimney was still there.

Was it that some guardian energy protected those that did not get burned? Was it prayer that saved some, not others? Was it a sudden shift in the wind that made the fire burn all the way up to a house, but not take the house? Was it luck?

Or was it simply that there was some invisible grid line in nature that said to the fire "You can burn up to here, but do not cross this line."

The fire crossed stone and water and consumed whole large areas of earth, grasses, shrubs and trees, but then there were stands of trees that are still standing, still green.

The forces of nature can work in mysterious ways. It was fascinating to see where the fires were.

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