The ravages of forest fire
once stripped your long and lovely limbs
of their lush and verdant dress
so that now you stand
with bared, exposed head.
And at your feet the rain
and tremors of the earth
have cleared supporting soil.
You stand with roots open
to the sun, no protection there.
Along the darkened, sharpened arms
I see new green, new branches
growing in bold laughter at the ravages of time.
And your legs have grown
new covering and strength,
taking larger, firmer stance
among the rocks and over them.
You are present to the world
In new beauty, power and grace.
So, too, are we who walk this earth
exposed to fire and trial;
and, too, our foundations shaken
by change and shifting force.
As challenge and fresh pain
strip us raw and barren,
so we must reach down to where
life flows to start again.
When the world we thought we knew
moves our support aside and off,
so must we continue on
digging deeper with our toes
to bedrock which will keep us firm
and steady in great wind of change.
Thus, our exposure, too, will evoke
great beauty, power and grace.
By Gini Smith and published with permission.