Before it was Us

Here we are. It’s you and me, and all of our things, and all that is our way of life, integrated with, and built upon what was. This is modern melody.

This is Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Park. It is the Rocky Mountains. It is the city of Denver. It is 10 miles of trails through woodlands and wetlands, home to over 330 species of wildlife. The views here are inspiring. The park is a stunning example of the strength and beauty of nature and its continued survival through the bumbling existence of man.

In the beginning, it was the Native Americans following the Bison herds and living off the land. Then it was the settlers using the land for farming and cattle raising. Then came WWII and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal was 20,000 acres of manufacturing and testing mustard gas, napalm, white phosphorus, lewisite, chlorine gas, and sarin gas. After that there was Cold War weapons production. Not too long after, the site was used for the production of pesticides.

In the mid-1980s clean up began. During the clean up some Bald Eagles were discovered. They were tested, and miraculously found to be completely healthy. It was then that the Arsenal was born again (for the sixth time as I see it) as the largest urban refuge in the country. Here now for all to appreciate, a conservation success story.

The Arsenal reminds me of just how large our Planet really is. In this space I can come so close to nature, only to realize how separated from it I really am. It reminds me that the Universal Spirit is not easily broken. There is enough time for anyone to awaken and fix his mistake.

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