From wildfires, wildflowers.

Credit: strandedonland.com

Everything’s been a little different since the fire.

The drive back home is darker now. The trees seem angrier, defeated.

Even now, when the breeze picks up it stirs around the ashes that had settled into the dirt, the ashes that first arrived over six months ago.

I can still remember it so vividly. I can still smell the smoke, I can feel the ashes burning my eyes. I remember how hard it was to breathe. The air was thick and the world was sluggish and grey. For awhile I forgot that the sky wasn’t normally orange. The wind was hot. Everything felt dirty.

I can still picture seeing what was left of my uncle’s house for the first time. The home and business that he had spent so long building was reduced to a pile of black dust and scrap metal and crumbling rocks. I wonder how long it took.

My brother found a metal garden sign buried in the rubble. It read one word. Simplify.

How ironic can the world be? The fire had already taken everything from my uncle, so why, at the last second, did it feel the need to cough up a message telling him to simplify?

I was angry for a long time. I was sad. Our little town doesn’t deserve this, I thought.

But slowly, I’m starting to think maybe there are some good things that have come out of this, scattered all around.

The hills were black for a long time. And then it finally rained. So the grass started to grow, and trees that I’d assumed to be dead starting sprouting leaves again.

And now, there are hundreds of wildflowers blooming all over the ground. I’ve never seen some of these flowers before in my fifteen years of living here.

Credit: wildnatureimages.com

Before the fire the hills were dark green and brown, earthy. During the fire they were red. After, they were black, scorched. But now, they’re speckled with blues, yellows, purples, light greens, and covered with orange California poppies.

The only way that they are able to bloom is because the brush above them was burned away.

Maybe there’s some irony in that too. But I think it’s also very beautiful in a way.

And it’s the little things like these that we have to be thankful for.

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Cherry Blossom Season

It is that time of the year when it starts to get warmer. The spring breeze is so nice and warm that you just want to take a nap. The flowers are blooming and the birds start to chirp. This is when I know my birthday is coming up.

Photo Credit: eskipaper.com

I have a Japanese middle name, “Sakura,” meaning cherry blossom. This name is common in Japan among people who are born in the spring. The day I was born, my grandma in Japan said that since the cherry blossoms were in bloom she would name me Sakura.

Spring is my favorite season. Although it is the season of my birthday, the reason I like spring most is because of the perfect weather. It’s hot enough to go to the pool and also if you drive a couple of hours to the mountains you can go skiing. I love to ski and I love to surf, so this season is perfect for me.

Springtime Magic

Spring is full of magic.

Sure it brings the obvious, like flowers and butterflies; and then there’s the cliché that “romance is in the air.” But on closer inspection, spring is more than what meets the eye.

Springtime means new flowers, but more than the flowers themselves are the leaves finally bursting through the soil after a long winter hiding from the soil. Spring is the flower buds slowly opening in the heat of the sun, and closing again in the cool evening air.

Photo Credit: cdn2.uk.mentalfloss.com

More than the buzzing bees are the baby ladybugs taking their first steps across the ground, and the butterflies finally breaking free from their cocoons. It is the baby birds hatching from their shells, tottering around their nest and flying for the first time.

Spring is more than what immediately catches the eye. Spring is more than just the flowers, it is the flower buds, the newborn creatures, and the earth itself.

Photo Credit: c2.staticflickr.com

Spring is in The Air

Spring is my favorite time of year. Why? Because back home in Colorado, it’s when the snow starts the melt. The grass begins to turn green, and the flowers start to bloom. Here at school in Ojai, the weather goes from foggy and cold to sunny, and almost unbearably hot.

In Colorado, spring means the end of a cold winter, which a couple months in, everyone is already sick of. Flowers start to peek out, and it’s when they have just bloomed that they are the prettiest. The grass is green, and the rivers rush with all the snow melt-off. It’s perfection.

Spring also means that the school year is coming to an end. Classes start turning their attention from the everyday lessons to the upcoming finals. Senioritis kicks in as the seniors prepare to throw their cap in the air.

The sun finally peeks it’s head out from behind clouds, flowers decide it’s warm enough to come out of their shell. The world seems awake again. That’s why Spring is my favorite season.

The Last Petal

She loves me.

She loves me not.

Pulling the petals of a flower,

looking for an answer.

As if killing something beautiful is going to find the solution to my problem.

She loves.

She loves me not.

I keep pulling petals out one after one, but still nothing.

She loves me.

She loves me not.

The flowers life remains in my hands,

shards of its life scattered around me

Only to be blown away by the next breeze.

She loves me.

She loves me not.

Only 4 petals left,

But still the pile grows around me,

With the next wind

My answer will come.

She loves me.

She loves me not.

Only the last two, but I see how the story is going to end.

Do I pull them and reassure what I already believe, or do I leave the last two?

Hoping that maybe it will generate new petals to change my outcome.

I drop the flower and walk away.

Still wondering about her through the day.

I return the next morning at dawn,

Only to find my flower gone.

I spend the day wandering the streets.

Alone and confused,

I still look for the answer.

In a nearby meadow I see a field of flowers.

I rush over and I am engulfed, but no amount of picking is going to change the out come.

She loves me.

She loves me____

Valentine’s Day-Damn Love!!!!

Well this was one roller coaster of a week. I had a bunch of stuff planned and then was forced to scramble it together at the last minute as usual. I don’t know how everything snowballed into nothingness. I screwed up, that much is for sure.

First things first. You gotta take care of the flowers. I had a huge bouquet planned. Then I realized the real prices of flowers. So I did some digging, made some calls, and had a big arrangement planned.

And then everything collapsed. Valentine’s Day Eve, I had to make another reach out to my friends and they were awesome enough to help me out and grab some flowers on their way to school that day.

Then, one of my teachers, who doubles as my girlfriend’s teacher, allowed me to surprise my girlfriend during their class that morning. I showed up with a dozen roses and a balloon saying happy valentine’s day.

I gave them to her and she couldn’t have been happier. The past couple days since then have been far from perfect, but hopefully, the dust will settle soon.

Valentine’s Day, I hate you and your shipping complications.

Flower

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A flower cannot grow alone.

It must find soil to have a home.

It starts as a seed, it probably won’t survive.

The odds are great the seed will die.

It’s a small chance but the seed succeeds.

It must steal sunlight and water from the tenacious weed.

With hope and care the seed begins to sprout.

It must fend off the occasional drought.

After a while the seed is a fully-grown stem.

Mother Nature can no longer extinguish it on a whim.

The stem will contain an invigorating power.

On it will grow a beautiful flower.

The flower will soon shoot its seeds into the air.

Once again the tenacious weed must beware.