Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Thanks to Hurricane Wilma, large chunks of the rich canopy that defined so many lush neighborhoods in southern Florida were simply - and in some cases, brutally - stripped away.
On the surface, it was sad to see. Our memories of previous visits were filled with huge trees with thick layers of leaves, flowering plants of impossible color and a constant feeling that the landscape was always just one step removed from being completely overgrown. Seeing huge expanses of open sky over sun-baked and broken earth where a shady grove of trees once stood was a bit tough to take at first.
But anyone with enough patience to slow down and look more closely would often be rewarded with a front-row seat to a miracle that's been playing out since the beginning of time.
Here and there, tiny vestiges of life emerged from the monochromatic landscape. I found this one by the beach, and was immediately convinced that the passage of time, coupled with the planet's unstoppable wish to perpetuate life, would return the lush landscape to its former splendor.
Sure, more storms and natural disasters will threaten the view in the years to come. And today's new greenery may be summarily destroyed in the process. But the never-ending rhythms of our world will ensure any scorched earth will be strictly temporary in nature.
It's a comforting thought.