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Thursday, September 23, 2004

 

Born Out Of Fire

The sun beat down across the dry land, parched from the drought. It's menacing glare forcing wildlife to seek shelter beneath the trees, bushes and decomposing logs.
One piece of misplaced glass caught the sun's glare, glinting in the midst of it's dead companions. The grass, brown from dehydration, caught this glint within it's dry hands. At first what was about to happen was unclear but soon it was obvious. The flames tickled at first, threatening to die down, but soon it was uncontrollable, wreaking havoc.
The smoke darkened the sky, making the way ahead confusing and difficult.

Rains come, and sprinkle the hot ashes with it's cool caress. Soon all that is left is blackness, sprinkled with death. The trunks of trees are bare, charred and hurt, some irreparable.

As more rains fall, the cindered ground is penetrated by a green spike. New grasses from fallen and burnt seeds are climbing up through the nutrient rich ashes, making their way to renewed life, born from the fire. Trees burst forth with new life, those that were thought dead are shown to be alive.

The fire cleaned out the old, stripped away the impurities and brought forth new life.

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This is Australia, and we have just started our fire season.
As houses invade our native bush these fires become more and more threatening to people and have to be controlled by man made methods of back burning.
We have seen a lot of back burning near our place, so as to control the onset of bush fires due to the drought we have just experienced.
4 years ago we left Australia to visit New Zealand for a weekend. We left it enveloped in smoke, arriving back to find it still enveloped in smoke (our house that is). At one stage we were wondering if would be evacuated because the smoke was so thick that you couldn't see across the street. The fire which caused this was believed to be deliberately lit as some developers were clearing land for acreage properties.
In Australia, a lot of the native plants are born again in fire, their seeds needing the intense and sudden heat to germinate and then the ashes to nourish. From these seeds spring forth wonderful green growth and beautiful flowers.

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