The winter is definitely here. Days are shorter, nights are longer and the cold is creeping in under skins. Personally I am not a big fan of winter. I feel I am much more productive in summer, especially late afternoon and early morning. Partly because of the longer days and secondly because of the temperature drop. In summer one has loads of time to do things in and around the house before and after work, but in winter you just want to snuggle under a blanket.
One of the things I like least about winter is the outbreak of veld or bush fires. I have suffered from my sinuses since I was a child, and the smoke in the air from veld or bush fires always aggravates my sinuses during winter. However we all know that veld fires are important in our echo system. Scientists agree that the most important reasons for prescribed burning are to remove moribund or unpalatable vegetation and prevent or control the encroachment of undesired plants (farmers weekly).
This week as I was closing all the doors and windows in my house to try and keep out the smoke from the latest veld fire, it struck me that during the Lock Down we have all gone through, or are going through our own personal “veld fires”. The reality of the current situation, whether you are for or against it, has impacted all our lives indefinitely. Whether your fire has completely destroyed your livelihood and all the vegetation in your territory, or perhaps you were lucky to have the fire extinguished before it destroyed everything. Whether your fire is still roaming, or still on its way in the distance – all of us are experiencing the fire in one way or another.
I am not in any way trying to justify the fires or diminish its effect, but I think we can take hope from this parable. If we look at nature and the devastation a veld fire can leave, the veld can look dead and lifeless afterward. However, if you pass by the same field a few weeks or months later, and especially after the first spring rains, you will see the green of the new growth everywhere. Out of the ashes comes new life.
In times like these it is important for us to hope. To be able to see past our current circumstances and have faith that with the grace of God and our continued efforts to rise above our circumstances, we too will see the new life coming from the ashes.
Our prayers are with your during this time. Stay safe and healthy. Keep the faith and do not lose hope.