On the train to Rostock, looking out at the hazy summer sky, the wide green fields that stretch on in gentle rolls, punctuated by twirling turbines. The green hits me- no longer the young varied green of spring, but already more mature, fuller, deeper, more sure of itself. I’m looking out the train window and picturing the huge column of smoke thousands and thousands of miles away, where a place I love is burning.
Here, white trees form an open-air tunnel for the train to speed through, and the tunnel opens onto fields edged with pine forest. My heart, how many aspens have turned to ash, how many ponderosas are nothing more than charred remains? They are fire-loving trees, the ponderosas, but they are no match for unchecked flames that lick their sides and engulf their crown, suffocating them and burning from the inside. Can you hear them crack and scream as they fall, as they crumble?