|New life growing from a fallen giant. South Whidbey State Park. Lainey Piland photo|
No matter what, we always have the power to choose hope over despair, engagement over apathy, kindness over indifference, love over hate.
~ Cory Booker
Life has been so busy lately and I haven't had time to blog for several weeks. As things settle a bit, I'm going to do my best to get back on track. Writing the Nature Nerd Wednesday posts every week does me a great deal of good, as I hope reading them does for all of you! As I sit here in my dark house with blinds closed and curtains drawn against the heat and thick sulfurous smoke that's raining ash outside, I believe we could all use some hope right about now.
In Washington, Oregon, and Montana, some of the best-loved and most memorable landscapes are going up in flames. So many are trying to process the loss of these beloved places with which they've had a lifelong connection. We can try to remind ourselves that fire has been an important ecological process in the region for millennia, but that notion offers little solace when said fires are set by careless humans and worsened by conditions brought about by climate change. We can try to find hope in the fact that landscapes have rebounded, regrown, been rebuilt and flourished decades after catastrophic fires, but that doesn't ease the feeling of loss over the familiar landscape that is now gone.
Eventually, we will get to a place where it's possible to choose hope, engagement, kindness, and love -- where we can look to the future and find our part in reconciling this new landscape with the memories of what once was. In the meantime, let's support one another in the hard times, be grateful for those on the front lines fighting impossibly difficult conditions to save these landscapes, and reflect on the good memories. Let's SHARE those memories with one another and keep the beloved places alive in our stories.
Join me in getting lost in this film by Stephanie Campbell that highlights the beauty of our Evergreen State, a state that has been shaped by ice, floods, fire, and earthquakes:
What do these landscapes mean to you? Do you have a story to share? Please leave a comment or share a link below!