Thursday, April 20, 2006


It has taken about five years to get things in place, but now I have my own wildflower garden just outside the back door. Just in time to beat the $4.00 a gallon shut-down. I don’t have to drive four hours to the yellow trillium and the wake robin, or two hours to the crested dwarf irises, or down the road to the bloodroot and the trout lilies. We can give ourselves a worthy future with a little imagination and planning. Why don’t we do that more often? Why do we continually wake up in a future we think we couldn’t do anything about? Why don’t we start today building a future we can be proud of?

We could start with walking around the block. Every day. Stop smoking. Lose 25 pounds—over time, by saying no to desserts and bread. We could give ourselves the future by doing any number of small things today. Planting a yellow trillium, for instance, or a wake robin.

Of course, there are large aspects of our future that we cannot figure out and do not control. I don’t know what we are going to do about the residue of George Bush. We will suffer from his excesses and deficiencies for generations. It’s amazing how much damage one wrong person in the right place can do, how bad one person can be for so many people for so many years to come. And, I’m sure he wanted to do so well. But, just because we are at the mercy of forces quite beyond us is no reason to fail to do the things we can do to make things as good as they can be.

We can still photograph the dogwood in the fog. Why? Because it’s beautiful. We can photograph beauty, and paint beauty, and draw beauty, and write poetry to beauty, and enjoy beauty. Beauty exists alongside the ugliness and sorrow of these days. One does not cancel out the other. And if we cannot deny that which is to be mourned, neither can we allow ourselves to deny that which is to be celebrated, embraced and enjoyed.

We can live toward the best future we are capable of producing. Why? Because our lives are our gift to the world. We are potentially as beautiful as the dogwood in the fog. We cannot fail to bring to life as much beauty as possible. Light in the darkness, you know. Hope, mercy, and love. Grace and peace. Comfort and laughter in surprising places. We cannot fail to be the wildflowers in our own back yard. A blessing of beauty to all who come our way.

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