Sunday, June 3, 2012

Way High...

The friend whose advice sent me up through Fort Collins and another two hours into the mountains will be devastated to hear of the damage the Mountain Pine Beetle has done to this remote and beautiful land.

Once out of Fort Collins on Hwy 14, the drive was incredibly beautiful.  Much of the road parallels the Poudre River, with its load of colorfully dressed rafters.  As you get further into the hills, the river traffic dies off, and the road winds through breathtaking mountain passes.

Alongside the beauty, I cried for the trees.  Slopes once covered in majestic green pines are now grey and tinder-dry, waiting for a summer thunderstorm to put them out of their misery and start the cycle of life anew.  (The campground owner here told me they'd cut down 4000 trees on their site alone.)

Yet all is not despair.  Mother Nature is beginning to work her cycle - the aspens are moving back into the barren ground the pines once proudly claimed.  There are two hummingbird feeders outside the camp office - and the brightly-colored tiny birds are darting about, quarreling over some important issue, chasing one another and finally stopping for just a moment to stop and eat.

Tomorrow, I plan to go for a hike up to a small lake near here.  The hike is not overly long, and I have all day.  I think I'll need it - I just jogged the 50 feet back to the truck because I forgot the internet password, and was completely out of breath by the time I got back to my laptop.  Slow and steady will be the watchword.

As the hillsides will renew themselves after their disease has passed, so will my body, if I but give it time.  God has not abandoned these mountains, nor has She abandoned me.  I can't understand the whys of what's happened here, as I cannot understand the whys of my detour - but here in the mountains, where the only sounds I hear are that of distant thunder, the wind and the hummingbirds, I can be a bit more at peace with what has happened these past few months.  God Is.

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