Saturday, July 26, 2008


Walking is the activity I have been able to stick with my whole life. At various times I loved to play tennis or racquetball, but developed tennis elbow, and so had to give them up. At another time I used to love to bicycle, but going uphill was tough on my knees. I still love to swim, but there is not always a pool or a lake nearby. But you can walk anywhere. Just put on your shoes and step outside.

Once you get into the mountains and forested areas, there are all kinds of wildflowers in bloom at all times of the year. Right now, the thistles are beyond flowering, but you can still see traces of purple in the soft tufts at the top of the stalks. the cactus blooms are faded and withered as well, but there are succulent green bulbs of new growth on the tops of the old lobes.

There are many colorful little flowers springing up along the trails, in open fields and from between crevices in rocks. One of my favorite things to see is how often trees will root and grow to maturity from the craziest, slenderest little cracks and crevices, their trunks twisting to reach toward the sky to grasp their share of light and water. In doing so, tree trunks can bend around a boulder like the neck of a swan.

It is a lesson in tenacity and flourishing among difficulties when we see the wildflowers and trees managing to be strong and beautiful even when there is lots of sun and little rain, poor soil and lots of rocks. Somehow, these plants manage to draw nutrients even from such seemingly impoverished conditions.

Walking, looking, noticing how things are, smelling all the different plants to see how they smell, it is life affirming. The small wild plants that are such a pleasure offer hope and joy and remind us that there is always a way to flourish, even in adverse conditions.

Where are the wildflowers, shrubs and trees in our lives, which learned to thrive by bending instead of going in their usual straight lines. Where are the wildflowers that present us with bouquets of vivid color and scent, even when it is hot and dry outside and the beautiful flowers that we have in pots at home will suffer if they miss even one day of watering?

Are there times in your life when you have been like a wildflower? Is this one of those times?

No comments: