I read once in Memoirs of a Geisha that some souls are made of water, some are made of wood and some are made of fire. I have always believed I am of the water sort as I am called to water.

Today as we drove through Yosemite and saw the devastation of the recent wildfires I sat in awe.  It is truly amazing to see what fire can do to a forest.  I have seen the after effects of wildfires but none so shortly after they have happened.  As I sat watching out the window you could see where the airplanes had dropped their “red-water” it was still on the dirt.  You could see where the fire crews had shoveled trenches to make their fire lines.  In some cases you could actually see where it worked and where it did not.  Through the burnt trees you could see where those same fire crews had chopped down various trees to try and stop the fire from spreading.  I tell you what between those aircrews and the ground crews they saved a whole lot of that park.

Another thing I find absolutely amazing is what the fire itself does.  I saw trees that were blacked on the front side and brown on the the back side.  There were complete chunks of forest that were scorched along the bottom so all the undergrowth and the bottoms of the trees were gone but the tops of the trees were fine.  Then just a ways down you would see patches where one tree would be completely gone but the trees next to it were fine.  Then you would get to really steep rocky terrain areas where it must of been torture to fight the fires because everything was burnt and the trees looked like burnt out Cuban cigars poking out of the ground.

I looked desperately for animals through all of this.  Because there may be portions of forest missing but there is still lots of forest still there.  I saw none.  I mean there were these beautiful rock cliffs that were just begging for a mountain goat… but nothing.  Gorgeous Rivers running through meadows that needed Elk or Bear or something… but nothing.  So I came to the conclusion that I was either looking and wanting it too much or they are still WAY to traumatized and in therapy somewhere way back in the woods.

So Thank you to those whose souls are called to wood and fire for saving a most awe inspiring place such as Yosemite.


  1. Mary says:

    i think this is one of the most beautiful prose of yours i have ever read! i appreciate your literary reference and how you bookended your reflection with your association to water.
    thanks for writing this!
    love and miss you all,

  2. Mom says:

    I totally agree! Love you.