Gerry and I take a drive one afternoon and end up in a place ravaged by fire last summer. The aftermath is black and bleak and reminds us of last year’s deadly heat dome and horrific fire season. It was a tough year for British Columbians and we pray this summer will be better.
We haven’t forgotten the anxiety of last summer: tinder-dry forests, our eyes scanning the horizon for smoke, record-breaking heat that forced us to stay in our air-conditioned houses. We’re still a little bruised and tiptoeing toward summer this year, unsure what to expect.
That burned out forest is a metaphor of sorts for how we’re all stumbling around these days. We’re all scarred as a result of what life lobbed toward us over the past two years and unsure about what lies ahead.
Are we in the After yet?
Some might think so. For others still impacted by government mandates that stole their jobs and the ability to move freely around in our country, the struggle continues. Relationships are still strained—some severed. Here, in Canada, we’re still smarting from the sting of words spoken by our “leader” looking down his nose from his place of privilege, saying unacceptable things about the people he’s supposed to represent.
No. We’re not in the After just yet.
Maybe, Aftermath is a better descriptor.
The Aftermath is ugly. Our eyes are drawn to destruction that stands in sharp contrast to bright yellow flowers heralding spring just down the road. We’re tempted to look past burned out shells of forests, but we dare not look away too soon. New growth will eventually spring from the Aftermath but there’s clean-up that needs to be done to transform the scorched earth. The tasks are many, large and small, equally important.