To get to our farm, we have to drive down I-20. Once past Fort Worth (and heading out toward Abilene) the road is riddled with burned areas where recent grass fires have swept through the dried area. At first, the land was scarred and black. It looked terrible. Like the land had been attacked.

But now, only a few weeks later, that landscape is green and blooming while all the land around it–that not touched by fire–is still brown and dull, trapped in its coat of winter protection.

Because the fires moved quickly, the trees were edged in black and smoke but now they are leafed out. Only barely touched by the fire. Where once ashes lay, grass is now emerging, brilliantly green.

The fires that ravaged the land have cleared the space for renewal and rebirth. A cleansing occurred. Fire is a necessary component to a healthy landscape.

It seems to me that there must be such a cleansing needed by humans, too, but we have denied it or ignored it. What cleanses and purifies and creates space for rejuvenation? And if there is such a thing, is it different for each of us?

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