You could see all the way down the mountain, if not for the clouds! While the fire had taken many trees it had left a beautiful view in their place.
And, the fire had spared our favorite old tree. I was so happy to find this giant still there, and be able to show it to my kids. They were amazed at how big it was.
I learned after creating this post that Klaus Peter, the person who had been the owner/maintainer of Skywatch, has passed away. They asked that to honor his memory we dedicate our posts in his honor. I think it might be fitting to leave the post as is, and only ad this...
When the fire ravaged our mountain it left scars -- houses gone, thousands of tall pine trees burnt to the ground. It left ugliness where beauty had been. But in the brief years following, the ashes gave way to new beauty and new growth.
Our trip out to California was not just to see treasured places and escape the Texas heat: Our main reason for going was to visit my Dad, who's body and mind are giving way to Parkinsons. Walking in that forest and seeing the beauty there...not in spite of, but in many ways because of, the fire which had taken so much...seemed a hopeful symbol of what our family was going through. I hope that God brings the same hope to Klaus' family and loved ones.
When sorrow seems to surround you
When suffering hangs heavy oer your head
Know that tomorrow brings
Wholeness and healing
God gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair
(From the song Beauty for Ashes, by Crystal Lewis - paraphrased)