Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rising From The Ashes

  The crackle of burning twigs and hot ashes can be mesmerizing. The scent of the fire hangs on your clothes long after the burning ambers have faded from orange red to gray. Whether you’re sitting around watching a campfire outdoors or reading a book in front of a beautiful fireplace inside, the wonderment of fire can stimulate the senses in every way. I can stare at the ever changing flames of a fire for quite some time. It fascinates me, but I respect it. I won’t lie either. Fire scares me.

  This past summer I read my first book by author Barbara O’Neal (aka Barbara Samuel also.) Barbara is a wonderful writer who has an exceptional way of telling a story. I don’t know if I have ever read a writer who is as descriptive as she is. I actually instantly felt a little bond with Miss Samuel because she has a deep love and compassion for gardening. As a matter of fact the first book I read by her was named The Garden of Happy Endings. (It had Kelly’s name written all over it!) I quickly fell in love with her and started to follow her a little more closely.

   What does one have to do with the other you ask? Miss Samuel lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She wrote a blog a while back about the wildfire burning in Waldo Canyon, not far from where she lives. Every day this fire burned both hurt my heart and opened my eyes. I have never had to live with devastation like that. I have been lucky in that I have not had to deal with tornadoes, hurricanes, or anything major. I do recall a blizzard though. Anyways, the wildfire hopefully reminded us all about how quickly fire can take over, and how little we can do but hope and pray the damage and loss will be minimal.

  Below is a link to Miss Samuel’s blog, A Writer Afoot. I ask you to go there, scroll down and read Colorado Springs on Fire, and then scroll back up to read her blog, Life Returns, Another Photo and Essay about the Waldo Canyon Fire. I hate to be the type of person to tell you what to do, but Miss Samuel’s writing is touching. It is hard for me, being hundreds of miles away, to realize what happens during a horrible event like that. Please go to Barbara’s blog! The Life Returns blog she wrote prompted me to write this. It touched me in a way I cannot explain.

  This summer Miss Samuel/O'Neal has wound her way into my heart. I just finished another book by her bringing the total to three in about a two month span. Miss Samuel just won a coveted RITA award (HUGE award in the writing world!) for the book How to Bake a Perfect Life. That one is next on my list. She was also inducted into the Romance Writers Hall of Fame. She writes Romance and Women’s Fiction. Give her a try sometime! Miss Barbara has a beautiful heart and soul that shines throughout her words.

  Have you ever had to live with the destruction of fire? What is the worst weather induced destruction you have lived through? Have you read Barbara’s work? Do you plan on it now?

W.P.I. - Many of our native trees, shrubs, forbs and grasses have some mechanism of coping with fire. Some will grow new leaves or needles; others will resprout from their roots while others have fire resistant seeds that will sprout following a fire. Much of the response will depend on the intensity (how hot) and duration (how long) of the fire. Certain species will take longer to show any life, but in due time life will emerge from the ashes.


  1. That very same fire. It was the scariest and most awesome thing I've ever witnessed. It was also the coolest time to live in Colorado Springs. The lines of people wanting to volunteer and to donate money and supplies to the fireman and the victims were massive. Made me proud to live here. It also reminded me how much I've taken the mountains and trails around here for granted. Some of them will never be available in our lifetime. Darice

  2. I read where some of the land burned so hot for so long that the ground is now like what you would find on the moon. The destruction is so hard to fathom. Just looking at the pictures took my breath away. I am also overwhelmed with peoples generosity, especially in the wake of devastation. It always brings a tear to my eye. Thanks for coming back, my friend Anonymous Darice!