Every story has a beginning. The triumph of every story is still being written.
But these trees are also teachers, guides and midwives of recovery because on the lofty boughs are pinecones holding seeds of promise and vision of what giant might yet be born. And yet, these pinecones of promise don’t fulfill that promise until the intense heat of a forest fire causes the cones to open, new seeds to fall, and new pines to grow. The scientific name for this phenomenon is serotiny. At Black Bear Lodge, however, the name for this life-magic is sober heroism. And the passport to access this magic of transformation and recovery is the acknowledgement that, in the darkest hour, the seeds of dawn are born. In everyone’s life, there comes a time when we are subject to despair and devastation when we feel held to the flame. Everyone will, at some point in life, feel the heat. The question is what we do under these circumstances. And none of us know what we will do when our back is to the wall until our back is to the wall and we feel life heating up and hurting too much. Meeting this life-honesty is the transforming truth in the trees at Black Bear Lodge. In the power of the pines and the lessons of serotiny, is the reminder that things don’t have to be good for us to be great. Towering trees threatened by life forces give birth when things get their hottest. Smokey the Bear was the name of a tiny black bear cub who was found clinging to a smoldering tree after a devastating forest fire and became a symbol for survival and guardianship. As part of media and public awareness, every forest fire is given its own name. Every fire, every pain, every addiction any of us experience also carries a name. The giant trees at Black Bear Lodge remind us in our darkest hours that entering recovery is a move toward self-empowerment born when we are feeling most powerless. If you feel that you have lost power over your life, that doesn’t mean you are powerless. It is rather the truth of admission necessary for regaining power. To everything there is a season. Now is a season for your rebirth. The great pines and the good people at Black Bear Lodge wouldn’t want you to have any less. Every story has a beginning. The triumph of every story is still being written. Noah benShea Copyright April 30, 2014