Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Lover of Meadows and Woods

On September 4, 2011, 34,000 acres and over 1600 homes burned in the Bastrop Complex Fire.

What does one do when one loses the environs and surroundings which attracted them?  There is no such event that eventually hones your definition of being and welfare than a devastating loss of home and surroundings.  Sure, this begins as a lament.  Yet, it becomes for this author affirmation of long held belief, articulated long ago by William Wordsworth (1798).

“Therefore am I still
      A lover of the meadows and the woods,
      And mountains; and of all that we behold
      From this green earth”

Some would argue that it was fire that is to blame for this loss.  However, it is we ourselves who shoulder the responsibility for the tragedy that resulted in the loss of several thousand acres of the Lost Pines of Central Texas.  Fire was the agent, but it is how we behaved and the decisions we made as we occupied this part of the world.

Fire is something of which to be afraid.  Fire is something we do not understand. Of course, we know its benefit of warmth so comforting in winter months.  We appreciate it in the preparation of meals.  However, we do not understand fire’s role in maintaining habitat and the environment.  We are so afraid of fire that we often do the very things that cause the worst imaginable outcome. One of the lessons learned from this tragedy is that fire is a necessary ingredient in the propagation of new pines and the control of duff and litter on the floor of the forest.  By suppressing fire, we might create even greater fuel loads in the area. That is precisely what happened.  The consequences of our actions will be evident for many years.

But I am still a lover of woods.  I miss these woods.  Yet, I am determined to do my part to assist in the recovery of the woods.

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