We did a LOT of driving this weekend.
On our drive, we saw a sign saying we were entering a “controlled burn” area, and warning us not to drive into thick smoke. Soon, we saw what the sign was talking about. One side of the highway was black. Charred ground as far as we could see.
No signs of life.
My nature-minded husband explained that he has read articles about ranches winning conservation awards for revitalizing natural resources and wildlife. The first part of the process is the controlled burn. The complete elimination of all the plants that were there. The bad stuff . . . and the good stuff.
Native plants are the ones that thrive in a specific soil and climate. Native animals need them to survive and to live life the way they were created to live it. These plants are supposed to be there, and the area is made better by them.
But over time, non-native plants get introduced. And some of them can make life difficult for the native species.
To get the environment back to how it needs to be, sometimes drastic measures must be taken.
As we talked, my slob-heart completely understood.
In the six months before I started this blog, more than once I had the desperate-and-non-logical thought that if a natural disaster happened and everything was gone, it would feel like a relief.
I hesitate to type that for all the world to see, because I know and always knew it was a horrible and irrational thought. There are people who have unwillingly gone through such things, and I would never want to trivialize their experiences.
But that is how desperate I was. I didn’t know what to do. I felt hopeless and frustrated and overwhelmed. Being forced to start from absolutely nothing . . . one small, necessary addition at a time, sounded appealing when compared to the chaos I was living in.
On our way back home today, after mulling over this post and taking pictures as we drove, my husband said, “I don’t know what angle you’re going with on this post, but . . . controlled burns are scary. They are extremely dangerous and have to be handled by experts because they can so easily get out of hand.”
Well, that wasn’t the angle I started out with, but now that you’ve said it I can’t exactly ignore it.
He’s right. This isn’t something to be taken lightly. I can’t get rid of everything. That’s not realistic. But I can keep in mind that the things that are supposed to be in our home can only thrive once the things that aren’t supposed to be there have been removed.
And look, here’s a place where the green – the life - has started to return.
And again, my slob-heart understands.