Recently, I went hiking, (I know, how unusual, huh?) and while walking back to the car, stopped at this tree that had been almost burned to the ground. In fact the whole hiking area was pretty much torched from the recent fires in Porter Ranch. This was and still can be one of the better hikes in the San Fernando Valley. With a stream that runs the length of the park called “Limekiln Canyon trail”, the greens of life overflow in abundance, from the trees to bushes, grasses and some exotic plants, it’s a place of calming beauty, tranquil river whispers, birds that chant “hello“.

Since the fire, most of that is now gone. Yes, there is the beginning of life returning to this once majestic hideaway nestled among the mountain ranges of San Fernando Valley. And yes, it will return once again, becoming a favorite among hikers and casual strollers looking to escape the tedium of the concrete forest known as “the neighborhood”.

What gives me this impetuous knowledge that all will be well again? What possibly could be my motivation towards such a positive outlook? Well, since you didn’t ask, I’m gonna tell you! And show you.

On the way back to the car, I stopped and snapped this photo of a completely burned tree, with new growth in defiance of the devastation that had transpired in it’s home. Proudly sprouting new limbs where none had been. Challenging the fire to once again, another showdown. Of course hopefully not anytime soon.

To me, this is life everywhere. When something seems impossible or a part of your life becomes almost unbearable and the odds that things will turn in your favor seem slim to nothing at all – remember this lone tree. Not taking no for an answer. Not giving up. Not giving in to the negativity and destruction that surrounds it.

You can start from the ashes once again. Whether it’s something simple or something overpowering, take now to imagine what your life can be like. What you want to experience. To learn. To love.

And then…?