I watched a National Geographic documentary today called Secret Yosemite. It provided a wonderful visual and scientific presentation of the natural wonder that is Yosemite. Something that caught my interest was a repeated reference throughout the documentary on the four natural elements of wind, water, earth and fire; and how Yosemite showcases an awe-inspiring spectrum of both the "destructive" power of these forces, as well as the subtle ways in which each of these essential elements have helped carve the beauty that we admire today. For example, in the last century natural forest fires were put out by park conservationists with the intention to protect the natural habitat. However it was realized that the fires are a crucial part of nature's restorative rhythm and they help rejuvenate the nutrients in the soil so that life can flourish. So there are now efforts to let naturally occurring fires have their place, and also have controlled fires. In Mariposa Grove which hosts among the oldest and grandest of Giant Sequoias, there was not a single Sequoia that grew successfully during the time that natural forest fires were not allowed, and once the fires were allowed new trees grew with vigor and abundance!
This striking co-existence of nature's dangerous potential balanced with the assurance that after all, destruction is only a part of a larger, constant story of change which will undoubtedly shape its own wonders just through the simple process of cause and effect - somehow left me feeling a deep sense of faith and trust! Perhaps there are valuable lessons we can experience if we cherish the value of the "fires" in our life that may after all be spurring deeper growth and alignment with a more natural path; and thus be equally grateful for their existence in shaping our journeys :-)