The Sublime Aspen

I walk slowly and carefully trying not to disturb the snow on the pale leaves. The ground is completely covered with the fallen leaves on wild grass, some fresh and some waiting, biding their time to join the greater force. It’s a crisp autumn morning and the mist is gradually lifting as the sun starts climbing in a cloudless blue sky. The air is cold enough to sting just a little as I breath as deeply as I can, hoping to internalize the high altitude. I hear the sporadic chirping from the surrounding trees and shrubs, but I don’t bother to look. I close my eyes and smile.

They rise out of the ground in clusters, holding their own with a bark like David’s skin and leaves like a thousand beating hearts of the warriors quaking, not shivering or shrieking, but moving with a purpose and dancing with the light, surrounded by the conifers within the sight of only the evergreen trees. The trunks, some straight and slender and some little twisted with an attitude, posing, managing their weight and stress carefully like a seasoned gymnast.

The aspen grow in the mountains and sleep with the snow, listening to the bluebirds.  They harbor the secret of the solidarity of thriving for thousands of years. The aspens are the artist’s muse, they are the perfect trees, growing together, holding each other against everything. There’s isn’t a sight more beautiful than a grove of young aspen basking in the autumn evening light. The young glowing bark on a slender trunk nurtured by the surrounding aspens and the delightfully proportioned heart shaped leaves sending a gentle reminder of how fortunate we are to cohabit the planet; some of us see the fortune and some are struggling to keep their heads above the water. 

It is the collective we who are more than a part of the ecosystem. It is our moral obligation as the more privileged to nurture the less privileged ones.