By: Dubem M.
“The poetry of earth is ceasing never” – On the Grasshopper and the Cricket , John Keats
I have lived upon this island’s cliff for many years. I see the volcanoes and I see the tide wash upon the beach, guiding miniscule animals on and offshore. I see the forest bloom and I see its flowers wither, highlighting the cyclic nature of the island. I see this ecosystem’s life like clockwork in a watch as the small thrush busies itself, making a home ready for a new season of life. It repeats. As this small paradise meets its hurdles, it never ceases to respond with equal vigour. But even the most vigorous of islands meets a challenge with eruptions.
I watched as waves of molten flame licked and burned the forest down to cinders. The conflagration torn through the lush trees like a bullet, annihilating all in its path. Through pandemonium and loss, the forest experienced a metamorphosis of the gravest extent. The once fruitful orchards and bushes had been reduced to steaming and powdery ash. Individual embers still glowed in the grey field like holes indicating what had been just before, what had occurred, what had razed these once thriving plains to nothing but soot and grit.
But the bleak terrain does not stay stagnant in dour grey for long. Seeds of iris and mule ear are awoken by the fire’s warmth and are enriched by the ashes’ nutrients. They mark the revolution into a new period of life for the island. Vegetation returns stronger than ever. Brought by the high tide that mixes the rich soil with the old used earth beneath. As ferns and other shrubbery emerge, the island heals itself and the mars and scars of the flames are lost among the fields of a new yield from a new day. And if you look closely, as the trees stretch their branches, reaching their hands upwards in warm rejoice, you may catch the song of a lowly cricket or glimpse as a small thrush busies itself, making a home ready for the new season of life.