now in its one-hundred-and-eightieth year
The beech forest lies in wait, anticipating spring. The trunks, once tufted with snow, warm and blend into a neutral palette, awash in the gentle greys soon to be shattered with the maroon, pink, green, white, and yellow strokes of spring.
Down in the flood plain, the stream has swollen and painted everything within reach a uniform mud-grey. Even the sand and small leaves are caked, the fragile coating as delicate as the new life that will soon break through.
The forest is patient, enduring noisy visitors, bad weather, violence, and outright adversity; giving itself, without complaint, to the mysteries of time and the relentless cycles of life.