I think dragons exist. They live in the conifer forests, where things grow just so. Where the ground is blanketed with fir needles and maples leaves from years past. They pop out in early spring when the sun just begins to warm the earth. They aren’t big and fire breathing though. They are so tiny they are often over looked. They must be hunted with a delicate hand and quick eye and always left alone when noticed by chance. They are the miraculous Fairy Slipper Orchid. Treasures of the the Pacific Northwest.
To the sweetest of tiny flowers, Forget Me Not. A friend gave me a clump of hers a couple years ago and I put them in a pot on the deck. I wanted to keep them safe from lawn mowers, chickens and weed eaters. This year I am finding them everywhere in our yard! All around the deck and even quite a ways away in our garden space. What a little miracle that I just bask in the tenderness of it.
The lily of the forest. They are so lovely and delicate, they smell amazing too. God reminding us He loves us just in the gracious beauty around us.
Fingerprints of God.
One of my favorite scenes that I often come back to is those green paths through the woods. Ground covered with soft moss and delicate grasses, the majestic evergreens swaying above. I always walk away feeling new inside. Life has a way of making me critical and pessimistic, it is a daily struggle. My years of wandering, documenting flora and fauna has taught me some amazing lessons. One of which is that there is always healing in time. One year the forest is cut down or plowed through, left desolate. Then years to come it is made new, even made better. Space was made for new growth, orchids, homes for wildlife, and remarkable beauty that never could have come otherwise. It restores my faith in the journey laid out before me. Life’s themes remind me over and over. There is purpose in the process.
Mourning Doves in the rain. They are a humble bunch of birds. They aren’t flashy or beautiful really, they build flimsy stick nests and their coo isn’t terribly impressive. They are just an average bird, until you look a bit closer. Look at those eyelids and bright pink feet! But aside from that, why are they sitting in the downpour of rain when all the other birds have flown off to shelter? I feel a kinship to these doves. Sometimes we all have to just withstand the storms of life when it rains down on us. We hunker down and hope for it to end soon. It helps to have a few others to stand with you in it all too. The simplicity of a dove is a beautiful thing. God sent a dove as a message and symbol when Jesus was baptized. A poor mans sacrifice for forgiveness. Maybe they are not so simple after all.
A reminder of God’s amazing plan for our lives. After a long, dreary season there is a hope for new things to come. Precious gifts that speak to His tender mercies. Patience, faith, hope. Jesus’ words keep rolling through my head, “Not My will but Yours be done.” Luke 22:42
With the sunrise comes warmth, it brings light to what was dark. With the sunrise comes a hope for new beginnings and fresh starts. With the Sunrise comes a new day. The glow through dark, winter woods is a delight for the soul. There was a time I couldn’t see such beauty even if it stared me in the eye. I suppose that is why this sort of thing is truly monumental for me. The sunrise, the smell of the forest, the blanket of soft, green moss on everything. Taking the time to appreciate the smallest details and let them soak into my soul, I am so very grateful. I allow myself the time to bask in it even for just a few moments. It is always worth the effort.