From the Ashes

22 Jul

Two decades ago, wildfires ravaged Yellowstone National Park. Flames charred more than a third of the park,  people wondered if it would ever recover.

Yellowstone Meadow

This summer, I walked trails where the trunks of charred trees now stand sentinel over new meadows, wildflowers flourishing where forest shade would have prevented them before,

Yellowstone Elk

 watched a mother elk graze on tender spring grass, her twin calves sleeping in the sun,


and captured the reflection of the sky in water held still by fallen trees.

To be sure, the sun-bleached trunks of dead trees still stood in stark reminder of the destruction. But the wildflowers, new growth, twin calves nestled in a meadow were all notes in a sweeter symphony of redemption and renewal.

It feels like wildfire season here, a time of transition and challenges. I am struggling with an unfamilar hollowness in corporate worship, an uneasiness with a community that has always anchored me. But this song in the forest, echoing off canyons, rustling through grass? It resonated through the doubt, reminded me that the ashes from one dream are the fuel that feeds the next.

Spoke, “I am here, even now.”

7 Responses to “From the Ashes”

  1. Elle July 22, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    Beautiful post, Dawn. The cycle never ends, does it?

  2. Eddie July 22, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    This post rings so true and is a nice reminder that good things are to come even after a fire has destroyed what seems like everything.

  3. Denise July 22, 2009 at 1:00 pm #

    Beautifully worded, I really enjoyed this post.

  4. Leslie July 22, 2009 at 1:10 pm #

    Wow, great pics.

    I was in Yellowstone a few years after the fire, and remember seeing the charred trees everywhere. They looked like snakes to me (I was maybe 12 at the time)

  5. CatB July 22, 2009 at 3:33 pm #

    Thank you. I’ve been going through the same things. I was a worship leader for over a decade, and always strongly anchored in a worship community. A year ago we chose to withdraw from “services”, and what has kept me focusing on God has been the time I spend alone outside, with my horses and whatever is happening in the field. I’m not working horses, just soaking in Peace and a sense of what is right in the universe. That has held me together.

    Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone.

    A Canadian Fan

  6. ingrid July 23, 2009 at 8:35 am #

    I love visiting. You never know what you’re going to get and you always leave with something…sometimes motivated, sometimes thinking, remembering and very often with a stitch in your side from a good laugh. Thanks!

    I think it “funny” that this post which is not filled with humor as is many of yours has the fewest comments.

  7. rON July 24, 2009 at 10:46 pm #

    What a great mind retreat.

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