There are two shrubs whose aromatic leaves soothe me during times of stress and/or uncertainty, one of them I used to cultivate in my garden (when I had a garden) and one of them I find in the wild. Rosemary is the one I used to grow and sagebrush is the one I find in the wild.
I have a friend that I know would probably love to smell the sagebrush right now as she has gone through some rough times the past few days and who lives in the east now but loves and has some roots in the west. She’ll know who she is when she reads this. I hope the photo reminds you of the pungent yet healing aroma.
I want to smell the sagebrush too because of the stress and sense of loss I have been feeling since I first learned that Antelope Island State Park was on fire. Nearly half of the island has been burned. I keep thinking about the birds and animals who call the island home. I keep thinking of the sagebrush on the island being gone and how the sagebrush obligates will be affected, of the birds and animals who depend on the sagebrush for food, for shelter and for nesting sites. I keep thinking of the loss. I wonder if there will be enough food to carry the animals through the winter.
Sure, fire is natural. Sure, fire can cleanse and rejuvenate. I agree.
But knowing that will not stop me from grieving the loss caused by this fire. Not going to happen.
Sometime very soon I will need to smell the sagebrush, hold it in my hands and breathe.
Back lit Sagebrush photo taken last week in Clark County, Idaho as the sun rose over the sagebrush steppe.