The left side of the photos above and below used to be a campsite. Used to be.
While visiting my older sister in Georgia in 2011, my family decided to take a hike on the Pine Mountain Trail -- a hiking trail that meanders through the lovely FDR State Park. As we drove to the trailhead, we were met with the first evidence of just how powerful Mother Nature is: there was a gaping, freeway-sized path carved in front of our car, from one side of the road to the other, like a giant bulldozer had gone on a rampage through the forest. It was only a hint of what we would see at the first overlook on the trail:
Felled trees littered the landscape as if they were nothing more than discarded matchsticks. There were parts of the trail that were blocked by massive, old trees, and we had to climb over and under them in order to hike onward. I kept thinking about what people's homes must look like, if a tornado could do this to the trees out here. I hoped everyone was okay.
Despite the devastation left behind by the storm, the cycle of life continued on, and out of the debris of the fallen grew a new generation of flowers and would-be ancient trees.
If you are the type of person who finds meaning in nature, like I do, you could see this as a sort of reminder. Bad things happen. Sometimes in life, trees fall. You can either lay down and join the debris, or you can use it as a nourishing foundation for life to begin anew.