I received a a silver aspen leaf to wear around my neck as a special thank you from the women on the Breckenridge trip. (Thank you ladies! It was my pleasure to be with you!)
When you drive through the rocky mountains today your eye is drawn to the rust colored lodge pole pines on the hillsides. They are dying from an infestation of pine beetles. Scientists tell us that the outbreak is due in part to global warming, the winters just aren’t cold enough to kill off the beetles so there’s more of the hungry little buggers to eat the trees. It’s hard to see the devastation of the forests but we need to remember that it is a natural occurance and we are helpless except to let nature run it’s course. When the beetles have had their feast the forest as we know it will be gone but the hills will not remain bare. Nature will always choose life and although the forest will change there will be new growth and new life on the mountainsides.
There are some areas where they have logged the dead trees and left small teepee stacks of dead branches. These will be burned this spring under controlled fires, more efficient than hauling it all out of the mountains. They look like funeral pyres for the dead trees. Once burned the ashes will replenish the ground, rain and sun will spur new growth on open land and the aspen, the largest living organism – connected by one expansive root system, will cover the hillsides.
This time of year is hard on everyone. We’re wanting so hard for spring to come. We’re all hoping that winter will let go it’s grip, the sun will warm us, and the ground will thaw out. We wait for that miracle of life to spring forth and turn our black and white winter world into one of green and color. We need only be patient, mother nature will choose life and will awake from the frozen ground in all her spring glory.
What do you do to choose life right now for yourself? Have you been hibernating all winter waiting for spring to rouse you from your winter slump? Are you ready to put away the winter toys and get out with your bike and nordic walking poles? Whatever part of the activity spectrum you’ve been on for this winter it’s time to choose life, choose health, and get outside to play. You might even consider putting on your rubber boots and walking in a few puddles, just don’t splash your friend!