Purple and Velvet

I couldn’t believe how different Brown Mountain looked when I went up there today. It hasn’t been that long since the last time Velvet and I walked the trail but the whole landscape has completely changed. I can’t remember what day it was that I was there last, was it Sunday? Or Wednesday? I’m not sure, but I remember what it looked like. It looked like rolling green hills speckled with blackened oaks. Last year the place was barren. Robert said it looked like the moon. There was only red earth, grey ash, and the black carcasses of the trees burned in the Station Fire. It wasn’t so long ago. I remember the last time I was there I was sort of awestruck by how much it had changed in a year. I was amazed by how green it had become. I was amazed that the wild mountains could look so cultivated after such complete and utter destruction. Everything had been wiped out in that fire. I saw the blaze myself. It was like hell on earth. It was flames as high as towers just rushing up the hillside. It left the mountains bare, or that’s how it seemed, but I guess that it only burned what it could see. It burned what was on the outside, growing and showing and alive. But what it didn’t burn was on the inside. It didn’t burn the seeds. It couldn’t reach the roots. That blazing inferno couldn’t destroy the richness of the soil. In fact, it added to it. All that life destroyed that day only added to the nutrients that ground has to offer. Those trees and leaves and bushes and grass weren’t destroyed, they were changed. And today I saw them again, alive and…purple. Purple everywhere! Brown Mountain had turned purple with seas of wildflowers in every direction. I don’t mean just little speckles like those blackened oaks, I mean mighty pure and bold violets in such abundance that only God could have created such a garden.  Of course I know they’re only wildflowers, but what magnificent light they add to an otherwise ordinary hill outside an ordinary town in an ordinary world. What a comeback that mountain has made, what a reminder of all the purple buried beneath my surface just waiting for the rain to bring blossoms back again.

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