Malpais Tree

I am, and have always been, a complete sucker for the underdog. I almost always find myself rooting for the underdog, no matter the long odds, and in fact, the longer they are, the more I am hopeful they will prevail. I’m not sure why I am like this, but it is a part of who I am. As a photographer, sometimes I see a scene that reminds me of the underdog, and that’s exactly how I felt when I encountered this tree.

Lonely and forlorn, the tree sits upon the top of 200 foot cliffs at El Malpais National Monument in New Mexico. One day, perhaps, it was a mighty tree here on the cliffs, commanding them as a general would an army, but those days have passed. Barely clinging to life, the tree struggles to continue its very existence, leaving it little time to ponder its days of glory.

The skies above it seem to echo these thoughts, and to me represent the tree’s cycle. The dark storm clouds represent the present, for it is a dark, and very uncertain, time for this tree, while the blue represents what might be, should it prevail against all odds. I see the blue as hope, pulling the tree forward, and so I find myself rooting for this tree to make it. Perhaps it will, and perhaps it will not, but it is no longer a forgotten tree. Time, as it always does, will finish this tale.

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