After the Fire

It was a cloudy, grey day, but my heart longed to hear the early spring birds that were gathered at the lakeside, so we drove again to our favorite spot. 

What a difference

there was at the lake this week!

The Park District

had managed their

“controlled burn”

over most of the land there.

The Land Cries

The burned over land

aches in chagrin, wait and see

New joy will grow soon.

–Bettie Gilbert

It’s certainly not a pretty sight there now. But those controlled, or prescribed burns are so necessary to steward and manage the lands for conservation.  According to the Wisconsin DNR’s site, “State wildlife officials conduct prescribed burns on public lands throughout Wisconsin in the spring to improve wildlife habitat, control invasive plant species, restore and maintain native plant communities and reduce wildfire potential.”

Did you know that many native grasses and wildflowers develop deep roots that can withstand the high heat of the fires, while the invasive plants are shallow rooted, and give way to the heat?

So, where does that leave my heart

 when the fires rage inside? 

The Fire Within

Burned over heart, the

Chagrin of it all, bubbling

Joy is now set free

–Bettie Gilbert

 “We went through fire and water,
    but you brought us to a place of abundance.”

Left to myself, I would choose clear skies and balmy breezes every day. But just as necessary as rain, the fire serves its purpose also.

May I learn to wait and watch

for the joy yet to come

After the fire

and after the rain.

These #Haiku are prompted by the #Poetry Challenge put forth by Ronovan Hester over at his site:
where the prompts this week are “Chagrin&Joy.”
Join me there, and give it a try!

I am linking today with:
Meg Weyerbacher, #TeaAndWordTuesday 
Jennifer Dukes Lee, #TellHisStory 


19 thoughts on “After the Fire

  1. Dear Bettie, I love the thought of a plant's deep roots helping it to withstand fire's heat, because it reminds me of being deeply rooted in God's living stream, so that we can survive dry seasons and the searing fires of adversity. Your words here find an answering “Amen” in my heart:

    “May I learn to wait and watch
    for the joy yet to come
    After the fire
    and after the rain.”

    Yes, indeed, may God prepare us for any weather to come and each and every circumstance we need to go through! We seem to have been thinking along related lines this week, sweet poetic friend, though I've been more focused on rain and storms. Let's aim to watch and wait with anticipation for the joy to come. Blessings and love. xoxo


  2. Dear Joy,
    I love how God moves us in complementary directions, along His path! The storms, and the fires, both shake us up. But truly He is rooting us there by His living stream. Stillness and Rooting, both contain such thoughts of waiting on Him. Yes! May we watch for His Joy that is yet to come. Blessings and Love to you too, Dear Friend. xoxo


  3. I never knew that a controlled burns served such a purpose. And I love what you brought out, that certain types of roots withstand them. Glad to learn something new today. 🙂 #TeaandWord


  4. I love this hope-filled post, Bettie. Those grasses even come up greener and healthier after a burn. I never knew though that the invasive plants have shallow roots and don't survive. Such a spiritual lesson, isn't it? We need the purifying flames, don't we? I love how God works to set “bubbling joy” free after the fire and the rain. Psalm 66:12 struck me in a deeper way, too. That “place of abundance” after we go through the fire and the water. Thank you so much for encouraging my heart, my friend. Love and hugs to you!


  5. Yes, isn't it fascinating what is happening in those controlled burn places that we pass by? I'm so thankful for God's grace to us, as He roots us deeply in Him! Blessings to you!


  6. Bettie, I love your take on the prompt words this week! I love how you brought out how the invasive plants have shallow roots that can't withstand the fire. And in our lives, I guess that's why we need the fire sometimes, so God can burn away what is shallow. This is my prayer, too – “May I learn to wait and watch
    for the joy yet to come
    After the fire
    and after the rain.” Many blessings to you! xoxo


  7. Chagrin. I'm going to have that word in my heart when we finally (it's snowing outside my window) get to the burning stage here on this hill. I always appreciate your perspective, Bettie.


  8. I remember as a child watching the controlled burns in the fields. What a spectacle. They were necessary to get rid of insects and vermin before planting again. The burned stubble acted as a fertiliser too.

    God bless.


  9. Dear Trudy,
    Yes, God truly does bring us beautiful object lessons all around us, doesn't He? I love how you've seen the grasses come back even healthier after the fires! Without the purifying work of the fire, and the rain, I wonder if our joy would be more limited and shallow also? Thank you for the encouragement and thoughtful comments you bring here, dear friend! Hugs and Love to you too!


  10. Dear Gayl,
    Thank you for your kind words, my poet/sister/friend! When I saw the prompts this week, I thought this would be the time that I would bow out! 🙂 But God had a different idea, and gave me these thoughts, especially after we had just been to the lakeside the day before! Yes, I think you have a good point: I believe He does burn away the shallow things in our hearts, and makes room for healthier and deeper rooted truths to grow! Thank you for sharing such encouraging words my Dear Friend! Blessings, Love and Hugs to you! xoxo


  11. Dear Michele,
    Yes, we have snow forecast for tomorrow again, here, also! But spring is on its way, still. Thank you for your sweet words, friend! I would love to see the “after” pictures when the burning stage is finished on your hill!


  12. Dear Victor,
    What a sight that must have been, to observe those burns as a child! They do serve their purposes, though, don't they? Yes, I like that thought of the fertilizer from the stubble–new growth!


  13. Hi Bettie,
    Oh I can relate since here in Florida they are always doing prescribed burns and I just can't over the thought of it killing all the vegetation to avoid future damage — it just doesn't seem right somehow. But I have to believe that the experts surely know better than I do how to care of the land and I know that new growth comes from difficult seasons. Even if all looks dead now, surely life will come again, won't it? There is a purpose and we have trust that God will renew! xo


  14. Your haikus are beautiful. Thank you for these words —–> May I learn to wait and watch
    for the joy yet to come
    After the fire
    and after the rain.
    May God continue to teach you through His beauty!


  15. Dear Valerie,
    Since I've never lived in Florida, I didn't realize that prescribed burns happen there also! But I guess it makes sense, since the land needs to be managed everywhere! It is a difficult lesson, isn't it? It's just one more way that HE makes sure we can see the HOPE that lies in resurrection thoughts! And He is so trustworthy to renew us! xoxo


  16. Dear Mary,
    Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by here today! I'm grateful that you found beauty in this corner. God is so good to bring His truth to our hearts, isn't He? Blessings to you!


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