I’ll never forget seeing acres and acres of burned forest. Some charred trunks still standing, silent memorials amidst a resounding choir of color, the purples and reds of riotous fireweed echoing brightly. There was a challenge for allegiance, a yearning for what had been and for what might be. The tree trunks intoned of past trauma as the fireweed sang the refrain of resilience. It was beautiful and it was ugly. It was awesome and it was eerie.
The vast sea of fireweed lapped at the shore of road that I stood on with my family. I wanted to wade out to a blackened tree trunk but was overwhelmed by the waves of color, by the surge tide of so many plants in the wake of fire. My father assured me that this flood would recede and that the forest would emerge again. I had to believe him, had to have faith that green trees would quiet the roar of color that stung my eyes.
Back in the truck I stared out the window for miles at this powerfully incongruous scene. Later the visual memory would appear unbidden, and whisper a reminder of the immeasurable capacities of the human spirit.
One part of C.Jai Ferry’s challenge for her continuing twitter tutelage is to write a 200-word story (give or take on the words) incorporating the theme of congruency. See more at Carrot Ranch and #twitterflash.