By: Brand Ambassador, Matthew Irving
I miss fighting fire. Or at least the idea of it. Ten years ago, I made one of the hardest decisions of my life and left to pursue a career in filmmaking. Even though I’m happy with the direction I’m headed, there is still a small part of me that wonders if I made the right choice. Like a Siren’s call, I feel the constant pull to return.
Sometimes I find myself sitting around campfires, lost in thought, smoke floating up into the darkness above. Nostalgic for friendships come and gone; camaraderie earned through mutual suffering; never-ending inside jokes from friends you might call family. Night after night, sleeping under a star-filled sky, kept awake by the howling wind; endless moments in the wild.
The smell of burning sage transports me through space and time. Vast glacial valleys filled with wildflowers. Towering snow-covered peaks. Crown fires sweep up canyon walls, leaving behind the skeletal remains of giant evergreens. Titans of the forest brought to their knees. Trees left standing glow with a faint orange hue that fades to black as the sun disappears below the horizon.
Not everything was perfect. There were times of frustration and doubt; death and destruction. Unwritten sorrow. Days that felt like they would never end, and an aching body that felt like it would never heal.
It has molded me into the person I’ve become, and I wouldn’t change a thing in the end. Like life’s experiences, fire shapes the environment into what it needs to be, not what we want it to be. A necessity that is hard to comprehend at times. It might feel like the end, but if you look hard enough and stand still for a moment, there is growth. Through the ashes, the forest recovers and will continue long after we are gone.
I am content with the idea that life will go on. Despite the destruction, we will continue to grow until we die and return as dust to the earth, only to start again. I can live with that beauty.