Saturday, July 12, 2008

Missoula es en fuego




Did I write that right? I just needed a little Spanish...As wonderful as Missoula is, there is NO Mexi influence here...don't even get me started on their attempt at mexican food...ugh

Anywho, THE MOUNTAIN CAUGHT ON FIRE!!!!!!!! Wednesday night we watched Mt. Sentinel burn. Remember when I told yall about the mountain you could see from my favorite park here? Well apparently a few kids accidentally started a grass fire that over took the land mark here in town. Mt. Sentinel is the mountain that has the "M" on it and it's Missoula's version of the Hollywood sign, so it's a pretty big deal! It was absolutely surreal to stand in the backyard and watch black smoke billowing up...I mean we could literally see the fire line. Just crazy. I could go on about the fire, but I included a link to the news story from today...my point of this post is something else.
Our landlord is a scientist who's working on her doctorate at the University (of Montana...here in Missoula) so I will probably butcher her explanation of what I'm trying to get to...but I'll do my best.
She said from a scientist's standpoint, this grass fire has an upside. As all forest and grass fires do, they clear the way for NEW and GOOD growth. (No homes were destroyed in our fire here, so I'm not making this analogy to ALL wild fires (California and such))...apparently "non native" grasses, plants and weeds are brought in in a variety of ways and they over take the natural plant life that is supposed to grow. It really messes with the wildlife on the mountain and it compromises the integrity of the environment here. On the trail we hiked last Sunday there were signs posted that the forest department had released certain insects to try to rid the valley of certain non-native weeds, so this is obviously an ongoing battle. Missoula is overall a very "green" town, and with good reason, people who live here are proud of and protect everything that is natural. I can't say it enough, Missoula and the surrounding areas are breathtakingly beautiful.
So while it's natural to be sad when you see the formerly green mountain side blackened by fire, it could be looked at as the opportunity for an even better mountain. How freakin' deep is that????????? I know, I know...I've told Hunter a million times that "freakin'" is a bad word, but I couldn't think of anything else that I just needed that umph.
Isn't that just as true for life in general? When we have non-native weeds that overtake our lives and all of our attempts at ridding ourselves of these...um, buggers? (I am having such a hard time with words tonight but I'm just dying to make this post, so forgive my choices here...where was I?)...oh ya, the weeds...sometimes all we can do is burn everything down and start from scratch.
I look at this in reference to my own life and that horrible time in my past when I was battling with so many demons and I tried (fruitlessly) to rid myself of these "buggers" one weed at a time. What I needed was a good ol' grass fire. Just knock everything out at once and start from scratch. And in hindsight, I think I had one.
You know that time in your life when it feels like everything has fallen apart and you're just sitting there dumbfounded and lost? Maybe that's our opportunity to start over!!!!!!!!! Well, no maybes...it IS our opportunity to start over.
Get all of those WEEDS out of the picture and start with fresh soil. Take full advantage of this opportunity for a new beginning and take the necessary precautions to keep the weeds out for good this time...I know, it's getting a little cheeseball, but it's so true isn't it?
I hope no one reading this blog is in a stage in their life where they need a "good burn" or even going through one...because it's such a painful time, I cringe when I think about that time in my life...but driving around town, walking to the park, or even sitting in the backyard, I can see the black burned grasses on Mt. Sentinel and it's no longer a depressing sight for me...it's hopeful.
It's a constant reminder of a fresh start and second chances, and that's what this blog (and my life) is all about. A person who's no better (who's probably worse) than anyone reading her blog. A person who's been through it all (literally) and who's made it through one impossibility after another (no, really)...someone who's sitting here on the opposite bank, looking back at the river full of currents no one should have made it through just thanking God for that good grass fire!

3 comments:

bethany said...

What a fabulous analogy Erin! I loved that you took something scientific and compared it to life's struggles!! And it is so true! I totally understood what you were saying-great writing!! Thanks for the reminder!

Amanda said...

So well said, my friend!

The Silva's said...

That was beautiful!!! Hope you are having a terrific time in Montana, looking forward to seeing you when you get back!!