My Turn: Loss of trees heartbreaking

Today I walked through a grave yard. Wonderful old pines, destroyed by fire last year. Such a massive forest fire, I could see the smoke from my balcony in Portales, 170 miles away. I had cried at the eerie glow in the sky.

Their needles were gone, so they could no longer whisper. But they spoke to me anyway. They spoke of yesteryear… My childhood where I could see Sierra Blanca from my grandparents’ vacation home. Learning to ski on those slopes, loving the beauty of those trees covered in snow. The many drives up that winding road… camping and hiking.

It was a heartbreaking sight.

But we hiked on, and eventually made it over a ridge to lush green mountainsides, unharmed. The terrible drought that fueled that fire has been quenched this year. Streams were flowing, grass was deep, trees looked soft … fresh growth.

Then I took a walk above the clouds. Higher and higher to the goal — the top of Sierra Blanca. And standing at the top I was overwhelmed with emotion. It was a difficult climb. The old burned trees had reminded me of my age… and that calm days on mountain tops are never guaranteed.

Sandy keeps an online journal at her website www.field-days.com. E-mail her at sandy@field-days.com.

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