As I travelled deeper into the moonscape that was the aftermath of the 2021 Sparks Lake Fire, I began to wonder what it would have been like to have been there. If I could have been, for an hour or a day, a forest spirit, one immune to an inferno that raged at twice the temperature needed to melt lead, what would I have seen?

I think, as a forest fairy, I would have seen this. The great spirit of a century-old forest captured between life and death. An ancient force of nature that I could not understand yet one that I knew would drift back into the earth to rest and begin again.

The roar of the mega-fire would dissolve and fade and become the pops and creaks of a smouldering, dead forest. Then the sun would rise, and there would be the stillness of sacred silence. I would bear witness to the birth of a new ecosystem. One that the great forest spirit would nourish and cherish as it once again climbed toward the sky.

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