Seeing Beauty in Destruction

The Sonoran desert is my favorite place in the world. There’s something within me that requires that I be here and aches when I’m not. It’s the only place I’ve ever been that makes me feel like I belong in this world.

I worked hard and made a lot of sacrifices to have the privilege of living here. And it has proven to be the best decision I ever made, as three years later I wake up every morning excited to be here.

I still marvel when I look at the mountains and see the color, culture, and wildlife that make this desert the amazing place it is. So it’s no surprise that it’s a big influence in my life and artwork.

On June 5th, lightning hit Pusch Ridge in the western portion of the Santa Catalina Mountains and sparked a fire now known as the Bighorn Fire. As of the writing of this post, it has scorched over 50,000 acres.

Smoke rising above the Santa Catalina Mountains in Tucson as the Bighorn Fire burns

Due to the dedication and bravery of pilots, firefighters, forest service workers, and many others, no structures have been lost and the picturesque town of Summerhaven on top of Mt. Lemmon has so far been saved.

It’s difficult to watch one of my favorite places in the world burn. While seeing the haunting glow of the fire from Tucson is heartbreaking, I’ve also found myself strangely in awe of the raw force of nature.

As easy as it would be to sit here and wonder what else 2020 can take from us, I’ve instead found comfort in realizing that mother nature knows what it’s doing.

There is beauty in destruction. Not only in the towering clouds of smoke during the day and the pulse of flames at night, but also in the rebirth that’s to come.

The soil will get nutrients, old litter from the forest floor will be cleared, and green shoots will soon appear. And in that I continue to find inspiration.