• Lizzie Shutt

Forests Regrow After Fires

Nature is perfect.

Nature changes constantly, but also remains in balance.

A classic example is between the wolf and the rabbit. As the wolf population increases the rabbits population decreases. With less available food, in this case rabbits, the wolf population decreases. As there becomes a decreased wolf presence the rabbit population increases. This relationship is a simple predator and prey dynamic, it’s Nature’s flow, without drastic interference the balance will continue and given enough time will come back.

Notice that there is constant change that occurs to create the balanced relationship. You don’t always have to be in control or know it all. Usually times when you have a beginner's mindset you can learn the most and be adaptable!

Yosemite National Park in June

Likewise, with forests after a fire. North America’s forests were meant to be burned and grown again. Many seedlings require to be burned in a fire to ignite their germination and ignite regrowth in the forest.

View Nature as your teacher for life, understand that whatever struggles you face whether that be a breakup, a death, or this pandemic and potentially future global crises, these are like the fire burning down your forest. In the moment of flames engulfing you, the smoke clouds your vision. You feel like there is no normal recovery, no hope left, you can’t understand why it’s happening! All that was turned to ash lay on the forest floor as nutrients awaiting a new life. As the smoke settles and fresh rain comes in to cool you, a resilient seed sprouts. And then another and another! The microbes recover in the soils, grasses and native perennials pop up, the birds peck through looking for bugs; your forest is regrowing.

The trees don’t grow overnight and the wolves and rabbits don’t come running right back. Recovery takes time so honor yourself to grieve and heal. Accept what is happening in the moment, and tell yourself “this moment will pass.” (Even if you have to force yourself to say it, do it and hug yourself tightly)

Nature is constantly changing.

We are Nature and must accept change as a part of life.

For the past week each morning I read a page from “Life of Virtures”, one spoke about living in harmony with nature. The passage ended with, “It is not so much what you are doing as how you are doing it. When we properly understand and live by this principle, while difficulties will arise -- for they are part of the divine order too -- inner peace will be possible.” With whatever daily activities you do an opportunity arises for you to act in discordance or harmony with nature, to fear or accept change.

Choose to view life’s obstacles as part of the magic and mystery of life. You are not alone, we are all in this together!

Journal Prompts or Thoughts to Think about Your Relationship to Change

  • What feelings/sensations arise when you encounter change?

  • What thoughts come up?

  • How do you deal with change? Fight, Flee, or Freeze?

  • Could you bring awareness to these reactions and approach change differently?

"Live Dirty, Eat Clean& Green",

Lizzie Shutt


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