Up in Smoke

Late this past Spring, I came home from work one day to encounter a strange stench in the air. It smelled as if a motorized vehicle was leaking gasoline and then burned the fuel in the process. The smoky stink was enough to make me crinkle my nose and hold my breath. I closed all of the windows and cranked up my air conditioner. It wasn’t long before things smelled normal again.
A few hours later, my grandmother called and I went to the door to meet her as she dropped something off.
“What happened there?” she asked as she pointed to a spot just outside of my bedroom window.
I turned to see a charred mass of metal and rubber.
“What is that?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” she responded. “But it looks a lot like a lawn tractor. Was there a fire today? Did something happen when they mowed the lawn?”
“I don’t know,” I answered. “I was at work.”
A few hours later, the mystery of what happened was uncovered. I found out that the building manger had just taken a break from moving the lawn and had gone inside to get something to drink when the lawn tractor spontaneously caught fire. Fortunately, he was not on the lawn mower when it burst into flame, but in the end the lawn tractor was a complete loss.
I thought of the ill-fated lawn tractor as I got ready to move a few weeks later. I felt as if I was coming to the end of something; perhaps I felt the change of scenery coming, more independence, and greater opportunity. It was exciting and terrifying all at the same time. Just like the tractor going up in smoke, I felt as if my current way of life had disappeared far too quickly. There was a certain amount of security in living in an apartment. There were always people coming and going, and now I was the one going… leaving for the last time. My departure was happening all too quickly, and like the lawn mower fire, I seemingly had no time to prepare.
But there is something about fire that prepares for new life… like the fertile ground that emerges after a forest fire. New life was coming for me too… new promise on the horizon. There would be a new home where I could soon develop new memories with my friends and family. Yes, things would certainly be different for me and those within my circle. But in time, I would be given potential to flourish. The sudden transition and flare up of the flame of change would bring me new soil of promise and opportunity.
Out of the ashes of the old, I would embrace the newness of change.
lawn mower fire

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