Of Pick-Up Sticks And Hope

November 13, 2020. Scenes of burned forest embody both horror and hope … and present an apt metaphor for the current political scene in the U.S. Imagery here is from New Mexico’s Gila Wilderness which includes forest land that burned several years ago and promises to evolve eventually into renewed (albeit different) beauty. While there in September, many days the sky was darkened by smoke from active Arizona fires. And the news was full of Colorado and West Coast fires. Reminders that the devastation in front of us was not a one-time freak occurrence.

What can I contribute toward healing either former forest or former democracy? I offer imagery to promote hope.

18 thoughts on “Of Pick-Up Sticks And Hope

    1. Lynn, thank you … sobering scenes/times. I lightened up while creating that “leaf” – shape of a single aspen leave encloses a section of an aspen tree in its autumn hues – I can get happily lost in imagery!

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    1. Hi, Betty. Thank you. There is much to study, learn about forests in recovery mode and forest services in preventive mode – a complicated mix of variables. Mother Nature calls many a shot, regardless! Perhaps she called those downed trees to a radically different mission essential to one of her overhauls….


    1. Thank you. I learned years back about aspens emerging after forest fires, now I’ve actually seen that. Captivating … if only I could zoom forward and see the same slopes progressing in 10-year intervals through 3020 …

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  1. Politics has been like a game of pick-up sticks, with “someone” scattering the sticks at every opportunity. I’m hoping for change, but I’m not overly optimistic about any cooperative efforts. Even after January, there will be the shadow of that “someone” threatening further conflagration while stirring up his base.

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  2. Your image speaks volumes. The destruction, physically and politically, is devastating, but resilience lies at the core of Nature and humanity’s being. Hope is a good place to focus.

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  3. This poem is such a promotion of hope in recovery. I visited Mt. St. Helens a year or so after her explosion. Your line about the “barren trunks fallen like pick-up sticks” conveys quite eloquently what I saw on that trip. But to offer some hope, I went back 20 years later and rejoiced at the recovery, slow as it seemed, of the forests around the volcano. I think you mentioned in one of your responses that we need patience and resilience. Yes! Let’s hope that a more patient administration will soon lead the way.

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    1. One day I hope to revisit Mt St. Helens … I was there in 2011, and regrowth had begun. Yet the ground was still thick with ash/soot (my son returned from a short hike with muck up to his knees!)

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