September 13–Beauty: Strewn About

The wreckage after the Hurricane, whether it is entire communities or just the damage to your fence or roof is not beautiful.  It’s hard and sometimes dangerous, and it creates what will likely be weeks and months of recovery.  Maybe longer.

It’s as if the wind has picked up everything that was in place and scattered it about in every direction.  Being humans, we begin the arduous task of picking all those things up and either discarding them or replacing them–as in putting them back into place.  Some unexpected encounters can happen–sort of like dumping a drawer out on a table and sifting through what lands there–discoveries of things forgotten which include, from time to time, unexpected beauty.

Lichen Moss Enchanted Lichen Trees by Jon Gavin

On a walk yesterday, I came across a couple of pieces of wood–oak, blown from some high place that I would never have seen without the assistance of Irma.  They both called to me, and we brought them home.  I can’t explain that.  Wood, certain pieces of wood, have always called to me, and I have something of a collection in our garage, waiting on me to start or continue whittling them into something.

One of these yesterday will most certainly become a walking stick.  It practically told me so.  It was covered with lichens of several kinds, some of which stood up like miniature ferns.  I gently removed them with my knife so that they could be placed back on the ground. I don’t know if they will continue to grow there or simply turn into more rich forest compost.

But there was this time spent looking at this amazing beauty that Nature creates in places that I don’t often get to see. High in a tree, under the cover of an oak tree’s canopy these beautiful little beings grow.  They grow there all the time.  Most of the time, I am oblivious to them.

But for a storm named Irma.  I wouldn’t wish the likes of Irma on anyone, but I am aware this morning that because there was Irma, there will be many instances of beauty that we human types discover in the process of recovery and rebuilding–beauty we hadn’t expected.  Beauty we would likely not have encountered without the storm.

Bob Patrick

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