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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Forest Fires and Gratitude....

"Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality."
--Alfred Painter

The pies are done and the kitchen is wiped clean. I sit with glass of wine in hand, a quiet house, a quiet night. The half-round moon glows through my studio window like a magical beacon: its winter white aura soothes me from a hectic, but fun day, with my son.

As many of you know from my blog posts, this has been an incredible year. A year of challenge and change, with still more of both to come. From this challenge and change has come an incredible bounty: a creative fervor and ambition that has taken my business to some great places and set me up for a year of more great places. It has also taken my spirit to some interesting corners: some dark, others sweet and full of light.

It would be easy to focus on the negative that is going on within our own lives; our community, the world. It would be easy to point fingers at the things that aren't working and call them out. But why is that? Why is it not easier to take stock of the beautiful things that are indeed working in our lives each and every day--the very things that we take little notice of sometimes but that bring us genuine joy?

This past year, it would have been easier for me in particular to find the things that sucked the happiness out of me and took me to the dark places. My 40th year on the planet has brought with it lots of turbulence. Ten years ago, I would have mired myself into the negative places that all of this turbulence has brought me. I would have asked "why me?" "what did I do?". But do you know what? A miracle has happened in my life. Amidst all of the things that have brought me sadness this past year, I have found myself to be at peace with myself; peace with my life; peace with who I am.

Had I not been through the fire this past year, I wouldn't have had this amazing revelation within. I would not have had this amazing regrowth that comes from being burned around the edges and then burned into a pile of ashes. But I realize now that you can't emerge something better, something stronger, something greener without having been burned first. You can't emerge like a Phoenix from the ashes without having been burned first.

This is just like the forests that surround me in Colorado. Many of them come alive in years after they've been scorched by fire. Nature needs the fire to regrow, replenish, wipe itself clean. You can see where the Colorado landscape needs it most; where years of fire suppression has reigned supreme to protect multi-million homes, pine beetles have taken over and killed many trees in its path. Where where was once an amazing canopy of green there are beetle-infested brown trees taking over. In short, much of the Colorado forest could use a good fire.

I liken the Colorado landscape these days to my soul. It is time for a fire to cut it all down, reduce me to my core, take me to the places I've never been. Without it, I won't be able to emerge with a stronger stump, a greener aura, a more fertile soul...

And for that, more than anything on this Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful.


  1. As always, wow! You are so insightful and inspiring Carrie. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Thanks Janell. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!

  3. I love your analogy of going through the fire to find the regrowth within. Congratulations on your success ~ and insight.