The land was barren, whirlwinds of dust spinning violently in the dry air seeking a place to rest but pushed on by the relentless wind. Small fires smoldered and slowly went out leaving the scent of burnt aspen and scrub oak where once there was the aroma of sweet green leaves. The once majestic forest had become a land of singed tree trunks and sooty dirt. The columbine and blueflax yielded to the flames and their glorious beauty was replaced by blackened petals and leaves burned beyond recognition.
But the beauty of the forest had not been lost; it had just become something subtler. Behind the ugly exterior, life continued to thrive. Inside the burnt trees, creatures lived out their lives. Woodpeckers, squirrels, raccoons and insects, all made their homes in the nooks of dead wood. Fire-hollowed logs sprung with life as the female fox raised her kits. The fire had destroyed the vegetation of the forest floor but because of it, the plants would regenerate themselves and start anew. Fresh green sprigs of grass arose from the ashes. Bluebells and yellow yarrow erupted from beneath the ash and their blooms once again showed their glory against the ashes from the fiery flames. The fire helped the forest even though at first, it seemed to be a force that only was meant for destruction and death. Without it, the forest would not be able to regenerate itself, thereby flourishing with new life.