Deep in the Targhee ForestPhoto by Earthfire

In the dead of winter, as I drive over Teton Pass from Earthfire to Jackson Hole, I am always impressed by the stately presence of the magnificent trees. In the frozen mountain landscape they are stoic silent sentinels to survival. They are gorgeous; inspiring, peaceful; both each individual tree and the whole forest community.

I always think of Robert Frosts’ poem, “the wood are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep…….” If you are dressed right they beckon you into a silent magical world of silence and snow and tall living presences.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening | by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Dr. Susan Eirich is the Founder and Executive Director of Earthfire Institute Wildlife Sanctuary and Retreat Center. A licensed psychologist, biologist and educator, her goal is to widen the circle of conversation about conservation to include the voices of all living beings.

by Susan Eirich, PhD

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