The Colors

The Colors

I stood on the moss-covered creek bank listening to the sound of flowing cold water. The intense purple of the dwarf crested irises was presented in such exquisite form. I’ve always loved these little flowers but this spring I have marveled at them, danced with them as the cool breeze rustled their velvety petals.

It’s not just the irises that are delighting me. There seems to be more wildflowers this year than I have ever noticed and the passion for seeing them, for being in their presence, for taking selfies with them has grown to the point of single-minded focus on my ambles through the national park.

Of course, the bright green of unfurling leaves excites me and the clear, cold water running over rounded rocks is amazing. But the colors…the colors. It’s a good thing I walk alone; otherwise, I would annoy any companion that had to witness my unbounded joy….oh LOOK! And there…look! OMG! That’s amazing. Oh, that’s a new one!! Yellow…white…purple…pink. Or perhaps the right companion is one who would be dancing with me or at least not stranding there all judgy. 

Today was off-the-scale amazing on my wander through my favorite national park area…maybe because it’s only eight miles from my home. Yesterday I returned to an area where a pink lady’s slipper was spotted a few days ago. I couldn’t find her but upon closer observation saw three blooming lady’s slippers. Then I went back a bit and found her, still not in full bloom. Lady’s slippers!!!! 

I think of these places as holy, sacred woodlands and when I slow down I see more beauty. John Muir once said he didn’t like the word ‘hike’ because if you hiked you had the goal of going from point A to point B and missed so much. He liked the word amble and he ambled all over…walking, meandering through some of the most pristine areas of North America, at the time. So I have adopted his word—amble.

I put aside my goal to walk a certain distance or to add to a list of trails I’ve covered or to be part of a milage club…although I think it’s amazing that people do that. I’ve become a person that walks and stops and absorbs the beauty without pushing for time and distance. A meanderer, a wanderer. That’s not to say I can’t push up a hill or past a rowdy group of annoying tourists…yes, they exist but thankfully not all tourists are annoying. It’s just now I want to be fully present with the surroundings….to see those jewels scattered along the forest floor. 

When we slow down and stop and linger we are able to truly take in the beauty….breathe in the beauty….feel ourselves as part of the living landscape. When we do that we can never feel alone.

Hours after the flower visit, the colors are vibrant in my body–circulating through my blood, swirling out through my exhalations. I drink deeply when the colors are offered and share their magnificent hues with unbridled celebration with others who can see…the colors.

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