Thank you, Sitka Center for Art & Ecology for the amazing month I spent as a writer in residence. I jokingly told my friends and family I was going to Lothlorien for a month, but the joke wasn’t far from the truth. Sitka Spruces wide as rivers stood sentinel right outside my studio door, and deep, wild, mossy rainforest beckoned in every direction. Being used to Rocky Mountain alpine forests that grow sparse and gnarled, I was amazed at the sheer density of these forests; I naively assumed the giant trees that surrounded me had to be hundreds of years old, but no, the ecology ranger told me. Most of them were no more than 75 years old. One 75 year old Sitka Spruce growing near Sitka can hold within its trunk at least twelve 200 year old Leadville lodgepoles. Truly, I’d forgotten what a tree could be.