Wildfires and Not To-Do’s


On Monday I tweeted one of my favorite Bible promises. It was part of my daily reading in Dwelling Places and a flagship of my alma mater.

Today those literal hills I can cast my eyes and cares upon are shrouded in a bluish haze. We’d think a storm was coming, here, in drought-cracked North Georgia, but those aren’t thunderclouds on our horizon.

Smoke hangs lazy in the air, hovering over our pine tree tops and clinging to my big-baby-boy’s too short hair. They say it’s coming down the mountain, sweeping in from the wildfires burning not-quite out of control along the Appalachian Trail and in the Cohutta Wilderness. They say the land is so dry the fire catches quick and burns fast and when the cold finally realized it’s November and came to visit, that frost warning came with smoke.

My girls want to know why they aren’t fighting it–they’re looking for the helpers you know. Always believing in the safety of our servicemen and their daddy because they are children and all children deserve to believe they are in a safe place. I wish I could give that comfort to so many hurting and fearful right now.

I tell them as we bump over the subdivision’s private road that has a few ruts–a reminder that no place heeds perfection long–a fire can be allowed to burn and there’s nothing to worry. The underbrush must be cleared for new growth, and the fire will purify the soil and make everything come back brighter and greener and stronger.

I remind them green trees don’t burn, remember what Daddy always said about gathering wood for the bonfire? When the tree is alive, it takes an awfully big fire to bring it down.

I remind myself.

Green trees don’t burn. Life flows through roots and branches and scorch marks might be born for a lifetime, but in the spring, the buds will burst right open.

As long as we have life in us, as long as hope stamps out fear, we can endure a burning of the underbrush.

This November, I’ve made a not-to-do list.

  • I’m not getting on Facebook. You can follow me over on Instagram or Twitter or send me an email the old-fashioned way.
  • I’m not reading/finishing books I don’t like. There are a couple sitting open on my nightstand that aren’t feeding my soul right now. So, done.
  • I’m not eating all the junk like I have the last several days and weeks. It makes me feel bad and I don’t need that.
  • I’m not drinking coffee when tea will do. For much the same reason as above and because my girls like tea time.

Anything you’re not doing? I think we’re all in a place where we want to take a step back and breathe past the election and the drought and the hurricane and the fear.

2 thoughts on “Wildfires and Not To-Do’s

  1. Why haven’t I commented on this yet? It was so beautiful when I first read it that I’ve read it a few times since. And I’m sharing it on my blog. So there. I’m also copying you and giving up Facebook. It makes me angry and sad and joyless all at the same time. Sigh. So I’m quitting too. Thanks for the brilliant idea. Also, you are the coolest. 🙂


    1. Pretty sure you are the coolest… and I am counting the days till February because I need some mama/writer/blogger time in the worst way. Thank you for your sweet words. Love to you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s