Rachel Jenae

L E G A C Y
Here they are and here they rest. It wasn’t the prettiest spot when my grandfather first chose it to spread my grandmother’s ashes, it was simply accessible and full of aspens. Recent fires didn’t touch this little spot right off the mountain rim, but the charred remains are all around. A beautiful forest lost in a moment that will take years to regrow.

But I learned something new about aspens on that trip. I’ve always known aspens grow best at high altitudes and that they’re deciduous trees that lose their beautiful yellow and gold leaves each fall. But what I didn’t know is that Aspens have an incredible root system. Most aspens grow in large colonies all derived from one single seedling and they spread by the means of their roots. New stems in the colony can appear up to 30–40 meters from the parent tree! Each individual tree can live for 40–150 years above ground, BUT the root system of the colony so much longer! In some cases, this is for thousands of years, sending up new trunks as the older trunks die off above ground. They are able to survive forest fires because the roots are below the heat of the fire, and new sprouts appear after the fire burns out.

That’s what I saw that day. Where fire had ravished the mountainside, hundreds and thousands of aspens were sprouting up. They didn’t need to wait for the wind to bring new seeds to the soil, no, there were roots waiting below the surface untouched by the fire, ready to break forth, and all the debris on the surface was now removed for quick new growth at this appointed time. The fire had prepared the way.

And I couldn’t help but see how the generational legacy of godly choices was like an aspen tree root system. I was an offshoot of deep, deep roots from my grandparents, parents and so many generations before them. No matter what fires came, what storms tried to destroy, those things were just clearing the way for greater growth to spring forth. I don’t know where it started in the line of my family, but one decision changed everything and with each generation growing and taking ground.
You picked a good spot grandpa.
Here’s to you DF + MF. ❤