After the wildfire
Sometimes there are no adequate words to describe the pain and upheaval that one is going through. Today, while trying to help someone grasp some words (since naming our pain often helps with the healing process), all I could picture was the utter devastation of a scorched, silent former forest after a wildfire. All is hushed, nothing stirs; it's an incredibly sad and lonely place, seemingly devoid of life. But I also remembered that, shortly after even the most raging fire, tiny shoots of growth start to emerge from the earth. Often these shoots are an incredibly vivid green, since they're soaking up nutrients left behind by the fire. These are the beginnings of an even more lush, verdant forest, as new life fills in where previously there was only devastation (and some vegetation can only begin after a fire; the heat from the fire is the only trigger to release its seeds).
This knowledge gives me hope. Even the worst devastation may be the precedent to new life and growth. We may discover seeds of hope we never would have otherwise. In the meantime, though, all looks like lonely darkness; hope seems useless and foolish. It's okay to grieve, to feel lost. Just remember that the story isn't over yet; there's new life ahead, even if it just looks like a few little green shoots.