Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Curves.

A lite colonel I used to work with looks me up about once every 5 years. This time, he waited about 6 before emailing me out of the blue.

The Long-Awaited Honest-to-God Secret to Being Happy

I met him back about 1988 or so when we were both working on  our Masters’ degrees and kept running into each other in the same classes. He was an O-5 and I was a GS-5 trainee. We often teamed up  together whenever there was a class project coming up. We were always reliable as teammates—and  that wasn’t always so of every lieutenant or trainee in our classes. He was also a “safe” teammate who didn’t get drunk and hit on me like half of those lieutenants did.

He’s about 60 now and having the adventure of his

life in Montana—the kind of thing we should all aspire to—and he’s quite a good photographer. He sent several amazing photos—some taken  from glass-bottomed helicopters  and  others  while  climbing  mountains  and  glaciers—and said I could share with friends.

One that really struck home with me was the one he called “After  the Fire.”  It reminded  me of somewhere between the 5 of cups and the 9 of pents…that part of re- birth where there’s a backdrop of devastation and a gar- den is starting to take hold.

Here’s the story behind it, ironically the fire took place about the same time as my divorce, when I first had this image. So amazing to see it now in a photograph.

“The East Fire in Yellowstone National Park a couple of years ago did considerable damage but as you can see, these  wildflowers  came  right  back  the  following  year (photo made in late July 2005).”


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