Fire & Rain

fire & raindrops ~d nelson

fire & raindrops ~d nelson

Just yesterday morning
I read you were gone
the raging wild Valley fire
put an end to you.

I sat here at the computer
and wrote down this post
It seems raw
& vulnerable to share with you.

I’ve seen fire & rain
I’ve seen breathtaking golden landscapes
that seemed to never end.
Now experiencing drought skies
alone, abandoned by a friend.
But I always thought
I’d see your refreshing hot springs again.

fire sky ~d nelson

fire sky ~d nelson

Breathing in smoke for days
throat dry from tasting
580 family houses burned to the ground.
Among the ashes & bodies found
small houseplant’s buds &
neighbors lending helping hands
offering compassionate action
& fundraisers for the grieved
that community be resurrected
from totally charred ground.

Today sweet rains a-came
cleansed air & dampened earth.
Cool moments of teary reflection
on life’s amazing, sacred worth;
ours & all other being’s lives
from beginning-less beginning
to death to transformation;

I’ve seen fire & rain
I’ve seen beautiful landscapes
that seemed never to end.
Now experiencing drought skies
alone, wishing for a friend.
But I always thought
I’d see your refreshing hot springs again.

If you sit by the lotus pond at this time of the year, looking at a decaying lotus leaf, you see that the lotus leaf is still there and alive. You are no longer caught in a perception, in the object of your perception anymore. Suddenly your feeling of fear and your feeling of sorrow vanish, because you can see beyond the lotus leaf. ~Thich Nhat Hanh


59 thoughts on “Fire & Rain

  1. Marneymae

    My heart goes out to the Harbin community.
    People I work for have been going there for years, & maintain contact throughout the year with people who work there… Over time, friendships have formed.
    Thinking of the west every day
    Wishing I could send a steady gently rain to fill the aquifers, to put out the flames.

  2. AmyRose🌹

    There is always New Life after what seemingly looks like death, David. My prayers and Love are with you and those who are truly suffering through these raging fires. May the Blessed Rains pour from the Heavens to bring relief from the drought and ending these raging fires. (((HUGS))) Amy ❀

  3. Carol A. Hand

    Deeply touching reminder of all that has been lost in the raging fires. I’m grateful that the cleansing rains offer respite and hope for new beginnings. Sending loving thoughts to you and all those who have suffered, and are still suffering, through disasters…

  4. JoAnna

    Since I’ve listened to “Fire and Rain” at least 100 times, I could hear and feel the sadness of your memorial. I ask the angels to bring healing energy, and healing water to the west where it is most needed. I hope you will see your refreshing springs again, soon, as the earth’s wounds heal.

  5. francisguenette

    “Been walking my mind to an easy time, my back turned towards the sun.
    Lord knows when the cold wind blows it’ll turn your head around.”
    Oh Smile Calm – you wake us up like that cold wind but in your words the sun is on my back.
    Dichotomy – no – this is the balance you achieve in your posts.
    Many thanks.

  6. Healing Grief

    Such a beautiful reflection of this situation David in your photos and song, describing what has been devastated in this community. Your quote at the end is just perfect, and a wonderful reminder of how life is always there to be seen and felt, even amongst darkness and loss.

    1. smilecalm Post author

      i’m happy that some rains are a falling
      your way, Tom! hope all get enough moisture and the little doggies don’t get too scared! i remember the dramatic storms when lived in TX & OK πŸ™‚

  7. Julia Manuel

    I’m so sorry to hear of this loss…you’ve created a beautyfull tribute and reimagining of one of my favorite JT songs. As always, your photos are so lush and clear. Much love, J

  8. Genie

    Its tragic, I’m glued to the computer for updates on all the fires raging in the west.

    Heartfelt poem and photos to go with it.

  9. Karen Wan

    Such tenderness and compassion I feel for all that has been lost in the fires raging across the west, so many lives – human, plant, animal friends and especially trees- losing their homes and sometimes their lives. You share this so poignantly.

    I pray there will be a beautiful rebirth coming to the West from so much destruction.

  10. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature

    So sorry for all the devastation and loss. We somehow escaped fire season this year in NM. Our rains came early. It is so hard to watch all the wildlife panic, run and die, as well as the forests, never to be the same again. People losing their homes. Catastrophic fire is so scary. Smoke inhalation so unhealthy. Fire is so cleansing and beautiful in contained situations, and our worst enemy in others. I am so very grateful for you that rain came. Your words and pictures are absolutely beautiful. May the rebuilding process be one of deep, heart opening love..

  11. Cate

    Beautiful images, and a lovely expression of sorrow for a loss that includes but also transcends strictly human concerns. Thank you for sharing your heart and reminding us of the preciousness of life in all its forms.

  12. Jet Eliot

    Oh, the Valley fire has touched me immensely too, living quite close, waking up to choking smoke, and seeing beautiful Harbin destroyed. It was with pleasure, then, to read your post. I really liked the soothing James Taylor tune in the background, and your fresh and clear photos full of life, and the Thich Nhat Nanh quote — so uplifting. Thank you.

  13. Michael

    Beautiful reflections, David. The tasting of the ash hit me, and knocked me back a step. The way the air carries our pain to distant points, because the intensity propels it out into the open. It needs to find hearts where it can land safely. Where it can be taken, held, and watered. And be reborn. I loved the song this rode in on also… πŸ™‚


  14. Sarah

    It is so hard for me to imagine how it feels but you have helped me to get closer, thank you. I’m so sorry to hear of all the loss. I wish I could send you all some soft Irish days to refresh the land. I will send them in my thoughts along with best wishes for the healing of the wounds. ❀

  15. bruce thomas witzel

    I hear you and James singing David, and I too join in… and the fire turns into rain, just as the mud turns into the lotus. Thank you for sharing this and reminding us of the beauty, sorrow and even tragedy that is around us and the nature of impermanence.


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