Cornerstones Crumble and Buildings Burn

The season of warmth brought an incredible new heat to Colorado this summer for an awful sequel to the horrific film of last year's consuming fires.  The cornerstones of Colorado rest in the mountains and the trees and last year the mountains burned with the Waldo Canyon fire and this year the trees of the Black Forest were consumed by that glowing wonder of the world.  Imagining the heat that spread over the dirt and debris like an incessantly rising tide can only be rivaled by the burning eyes of the people who poured water on the earth from their own eyes as what they knew went from their strongest asset to their most fragile desolation.

The thoughts that are sprouting here are a tribute to each of the folks who stepped through the embers; those who fought the flames and for those who have been left in ashes.

This summer, I was asked to inspire eager young minds, and I had just days earlier stepped among the crumbled pieces of a home in the forest that I have grown up gathering memories in.  I was left inside myself thinking about the blackened and burnt life left to cool, but was distracted by a paralleled focus on the new green sprouting from the floors and the walls of the forest that ignored the loss and demanded their renaissance.

The images following nature’s most agitated moments can leave anyone in disbelief, and scrambling across the crumbled bricks of the walls of my extended family’s home left me wondering how in the world I could honor them and their loss while also sharing their surreal positivity to peak the minds I would be addressing.  I decided to ask the eyes searching me for inspiration to think about the cornerstones that they have in their own lives. What are the four strongest values, quotes, ideologies or mantras in your life that your whole being rests upon?  Often as humans I think that we begin appreciating the strength of our walls years after the foundation has been poured and the cornerstones placed.  Inspiration can be that return to the base of the building that has now burned to the crumbled debris that I was stepping on.


Hearing the broken bricks scratch against each other brought the sound of their pain to the quiet and wounded landscape.  Understanding how quickly the world took the confidence of this family’s cornerstones to the crumbs surrounding me refused to rest in my mind.  I was lost in how something so tangible could be used to understand something so imaginative.  What parts of our life crumble before we understand their strength, significance, or symbolism?  What things in our lives do we have to destroy brick by brick before we can build ourselves again in a stronger and more stable way?  When the world does the ferocious demolition of everything we know, what types of moments ensue?  How much water does it take for the embers of our loss to stop glowing or how much of that water will bring fresh life to such a blackened forest that we can find ourselves in?

The answers to these questions may not grow until your heart is ready to dig into the barren ground and take root.  For the hearts here in Colorado I wish you the relief and revitalization of cool water.  I wish you the sunshine and positivity of support and rejuvenation.  I hope for the new growth of your homes to be surrounded and protected by overwhelming passion for perseverance.  Beautiful balance and stability can be found in mighty stones and the dust of what was, because cornerstones can crumble and buildings might burn but with boldness and courage we can rebuild ourselves till the new green grows.

 Kody Maynard is a guest writer for The Authenticity Project.