Story of Fireweed

Fireweed growing over the buried Alaska Pipeline. Photo credit: Michael S. Quinton

Fireweed growing on top of a buried portion of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.  Photo credit: Michael S. Quinton


In Alaska,
there lives a tenacious and beautiful wildflower called fireweed.

It’s the first flower to return after the land has been devastated
by fire, floods or other disasters.

Just when we think that everything is lost,
this bright, lovely flower appears
to proclaim the survival of beauty and the continuation of life.

Fireweed grows in places where other plants don’t intentionally go.
At home on riverbanks, sandbars, tundra and roadsides;
it blooms as grandly in gravel as it does in gardens.

Fireweed regenerates and transforms damaged soil
and can even sustain life by becoming our food,
drink, medicine and warmth
in times of an emergency.

   It is a symbol of hope, determination and survival.

We recognize and honor
the fireweed that is within you —
and celebrate the fireweed
that is within all of us.

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© Registered 1994, Carol Horos