Delightful Surprises

Driving through Cottonwood Pass between Fraser and Hot Sulphur Springs in Grand County, Colorado feels like a journey along the historical ranches in that region of yesteryear, and further yet into primordial time. There’s this sense of ancient life when indigenous people hunted, gathered, protected, and celebrated their day-to-day existence throughout the lay of this land. Much of it is ranchland today, but the sense of ancient cultures feels very close every time I traverse this soil.

There in the distance is a grove of trees. Do you see it? Not any grove though, not just any trees. There is something special about that cluster of bleached-bark aspen huddled in a ring at the base of the hills. Immediately, the site draws me in with wonder. This is none other than what I would call “The White Forest.” The leaves have not emerged from the buds yet. It is a gathering of living wood with a ripening purpose. It brims alive and plentiful.

The day is cloudy and cool. The willows in the foreground are just beginning to leaf. The snow has melted away. In my imagination, “The White forest” is where white mists rise amid the towering trunks and the reaching branches in mystical beauty. This is a spiritual place.

I am reminded of the Cedars of Lebanon in Biblical days because they, too, were trees of majestic beauty and great stature. The Hebrew word for Lebanon means whiteness and was originally given to Mount Lebanon for its snow-capped peaks. Looking at the white bark of this aspen grove symbolizes a type of natural purity to me as well.

The natural wonders of creation abound with hope and renewal. And, always a surprise around the bend ahead.

Thanks for stopping by.