This article has nothing to do with writing, but everything to do with a sign of hope, something I think we all need right now. As Covid 19 runs rampant, states are shutting down again, with no sign of an end in sight, it’s easy to feel helpless right now. Emotions vary from day-to-day. One morning you wake up feeling like you can make the best of the day and find a way to make the new way of life work. Others, you wake up wanting to go back to sleep to shut the world out as soon as you can.

During a road trip to let my older kids visit my parents for a few days, we had to travel up to Estes Park here in Colorado. I hadn’t been up there in some time. The sight that astonished me the most wasn’t the snow in the mountain tops in July, or the beautiful rolling hills and calming waterfront, it was the trees.

Not that long ago, it seemed like many of the Colorado forests, especially those in Estes Park, were doomed. The Spruce Bark Beetle began running through the woods, and wherever they went they left a mark of death on the trees. Spreading a dangerous fungus, the trees of Estes Park and the San Juan Mountains killed tree after tree, causing mass devastation.

Certain areas are still recovering. However, as we drove to bring our children up for a mountain visit, I felt astonished. What was once an area that had sporadic healthy growth, and the rest were either dying or barren, was now a lush green everywhere (see the picture above for the “after.”)

There was a time when the reports indicated we didn’t know how to fight the beetles as they devastated the region. Beetle kill furniture seemed like one mild way to deal with it. Yet here we are in 2020, seeing a vibrantly alive woodland returned not that long after it was thought nearly a lost cause.

Now, the science and care that went into restoring this forest is remarkable. And as we began our drive back home, I had my wife take a photograph of the trees with my camera. It’s because I wanted to not only remember the moment, but share it.

It felt incredibly uplifting to see an area I remember being marked as “done and dead” that now flourished.

During this insanity, I needed that moment, and found the next week with work and writing to go much better. So go out there, find your trees and the sign of hope from something thought lost that now thrives.

Take care of yourselves!


Published by thomasafowler

Thomas A. Fowler is the author of nerdy things, entertaining readers by writing primarily science fiction. An award-winning author, he self-publishes some books while pursuing the traditional route with his feature-length projects. Fowler works as a Producer/Project Manager to help pay the bills, especially since he is a father of four. He's had work featured in Buzzfeed, AdAge, Creativity Online, and is a proud Hufflepuff, INFJ, and forever Team Cap!

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