By Martin Brodsky
What is left, when the smoke clears, but beauty? The forest is cauterized, charred, smoldering, a war-torn ruin, yet, there it is still.
It is the same beauty that was covered in feet of snow last winter; the same dripping with rain last spring; and the same that began drying out this summer. It is the same beauty, now . . . set ablaze.
When the fire is finally snuffed out, though, when the fresh tendrils have risen and softened the raw wounds and we return to the land, it will be like reuniting with an old friend. A little worn, a little less hair, but the same humble soul, nonetheless.
The devil himself is roaring across the west. From the coastline to the great plains, the sunsets have that macabre beauty---stolen from the land, once collected in a forest, now released. It is a beauty suspended in air, waiting to fall, to evolve into something else, somewhere else.
For now, we wait. And in the meantime, every twilight brings a reminder that beauty is like energy: undestroyable, forever changed from one form to the next.