My family just returned from a wonderful trip through Yellowstone National Park. The natural beauty was amazing and the wildlife left us in awe.
As we arrived at one of the points of interest, we watched a short film on the park. The ranger shared with us that a majority of the trees have pinecones on them that when ignited with fire, will re-seed the land. The pinecones explode sending new seeds all over the land in time replenishing the natural wonder when a wildfire occurs.
Not thinking much about this concept, we continued on our journey, admiring the scenery. We approached a stop called the “Roaring Mountain.” Tired from the travel and not thinking the mountain looked very interesting. I stood by the car while my family went exploring.
I looked across the street at the hill and noticed puffs of smoke coming from the land and also how dry and lifeless everything was around it. Standing on the opposite side of the street, I decided to look around at nature behind me. Oh my word — there it was — an example of the natural re-seeding. There were burnt trees but amongst them were smaller green trees and thousands of them. Nature had taken care of the land.
So what does this do with grief? It was a word picture for me. When a death occurs, life seems hopeless, dry, not fun to look at. However, if we take care of each other — that life can be beautiful again.
Experienced grief lately? Feeling like that rough mountain with bursts of steam coming to the surface? Or are you experiencing hope with family and friends helping you re-seed? Remember, as the quote says, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” In this case, the mountain is greener on the other side. Allow the reseeding to begin.
Karen Sheppard is executive director of The Grief Place in Wenatchee. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.