I embrace the fire of growth
The giant Sequoia tree is the largest living thing on earth and one of the most awe inspiring sights I have ever witnessed in nature. I can still remember the trip with my grandparents through Northern California when I first saw one as a boy. They can grow over 300 feet tall and live for thousands of years. To me one of the most impressive and fascinating aspects about them is their relationship with fire. For most trees wildfires are the most devastating and destructive force possible, but for Sequoias it is central to their life cycle.
image source: http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/staticfiles/NGS/Shared/StaticFiles/Photography/Images/POD/s/sequoia-forest-fire-505503-ga.jpg
During a forest fire the heat triggers Sequoia pine cones to release their seeds. Meanwhile the fire clears away dead growth and debris on the forest floor making room for more sunlight to shine through. When the fire is gone it also leaves behind a bed of fertile ash that nourish the seeds as they grow.
As I travel my path and find myself in the process of growth and change I often feel as if I am in the middle of a firestorm that threatens to consume me. I fear that it may burn wildly and leave nothing but barren scorched earth in its' wake. The fire of conflict, adversity, pain, and struggle is also capable of refining me. That fire clears out the old parts of me and prepares me for renewal. I will recognize it as a part of the cycle of life and necessary for change and growth.
image source: http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/naturelibrary/images/ic/credit/640x395/s/se/sequoiadendron/sequoiadendron_1.jpg