Posted by ws1 on:
Last time I drove up Gibralter it was snowing. I was so obsessed with getting to the 'snow part' (yes Im one of those southern californian 'OMG it's SNOWING!' flip-out types) that I didn't really think about anything other than the road, falling rocks and having my little internal (typically snow-ignorant coastal californian) conversation about tire chains.
Yesterday, my fiancee and I were in a much more meditative mood. We decided to take one of our favorite hikes today off of West Camino Cielo to have some uninterrupted time to talk and strategize about our wedding (gulp).
On our way up, we passed the usual universally ignored 'Road Closed' signs and started to see all the (now tragically familiar) devastation of the Tea Fire burn area. What was wonderfully different this time, was the thousands of wonderful little green sprouts all over the red-brown and black sandstone slopes. It was hard not to feel generally hopeful, and maybe a little peaceful.
Obviously, for those who are just beginning to rebuild their lives and homes, a bit of green is not going to speed up the battle with the insurance company, tame flakey contractors, or bring back countless possessions lost in the fire. But it was an oddly pleasant feeling that came over us when we started seeing the immensity of natures rebuild effort coming up from the blackened earth and charred tree limbs.
Intellectually we already know that ash is a great fertilizer, and that some of the seeds were spread to prevent erosion by the forest service and fire dept - so it shouldn't be that shocking to see all the new plant life. But it is shocking (or at least it was to us) that life can spring back in such a robust vibrant way. Eventually, as we climbed beyond the burn area, our conversation became of those 'you know, if humanity just disappeared in some horrible explosion, there would still be beautiful sunny days like this one' conversations - which may seem a morbid to some - but it was a relief to not be at the center of our own world for a moment.
Or maybe I was just grateful not to be talking about the wedding yet.