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“And only where the forest fires have sped,
Scorching relentlessly the cool north lands,
A sweet wild flower lifts its purple head,
And, like some gentle spirit sorrow-fed,
It hides the scars with almost human hands.

And only to the heart that knows of grief,
Of desolating fire, of human pain,
There comes some purifying sweet belief,
Some fellow-feeling beautiful, if brief.
And life revives, and blossoms once again.”
-Emily Pauline Johnson, Fire-Flowers

The COVID years have been hard. The pandemic was like a raging fire sweeping through neighborhoods, communities, and nations. It left trauma in its wake: pain, grief, and loss. For too long, I felt unbalanced, confused, and direction-less and allowed myself to sink into the charred earth and wallow in the ashes. I am at the age where I have entered the last third of my life and wondered if there were any seeds left to flower.

Finally, instead of continuing to wallow, I began to dig down to get back into touch with where my passion lies and why I am on this earth. Only then was I able to find the buried seed of that sweet wild flower and as I watered that earth, the seed stretched into the light and began to blossom again.

Sometimes we need to wallow, then dig, and then find the way to revive and bloom.