Aspens. They are never isolated. Where there is one, there is two and three, and fifty. Every grouping in a valley or up the side of a mountain is actually one organism, one family. If you look closely, you can see the resemblance. Father, mother, daughter, son, aunt, uncle, grandparents, and cousins too. They share the same DNA. Watch them shake hands and kiss, telling family secrets and inside jokes only they understand. It’s not by chance or by seeds dropping haphazardly nearby that create this clan. But underneath the surface of their lot is one root that extends in every direction and shoots another brother and sister, breaking earth and sharing space with others of their kind. This aspen grouping is called a stand. And when the elements come in swinging, the gold leaves shiver and dance and their tall, lanky trunks creak and quake and shake, but the wind does not know that they are all holding hands underneath. And the sun reveals in shadow and light an image of what binds them unseen.