My yard is full of the color green. We are fortunate to have a grassy yard and many trees. We also have fruit trees, bushes, and flowering plants. When I first moved here I didn't think we had many flowering plants. It was lovely in green, but there wasn't a lot of color other than green. When we lived in DRC, we were fortunate to have a large compound full of flowering plants that were tended carefully by the gardener and our good friend Pocolo (our oldest couldn't say "Uncle Bill" so he became "Pocolo"). I missed our flowers in DRC.
Then, I realized that many of the plants and bushes in our yard did flower. I would find myself surprised when I saw a gorgeous flower on a plant that I thought for sure was just leaves. The next day I would grab my camera and the flower would be gone. This kept happening. I finally figured out we have a magical yard. Beauty in the form of flowers, comes briefly and then disappears just as fast.
I've learned that if I'm not looking, I miss the gift. If I am walking fast, I often notice a blooming flower. But if I am too busy and I don't take the time to stop, it is gone by the next time I pass by the same plant. I don't understand it. Likely, if I was a botanist, it would make perfect sense. But since I'm not I instead am learning to slow down, stop, pull my kids over and soak in the beauty of an unexpected flower.
I'm trying to learn about these gifts. I feel like the natural world is teaching my about life. Our lives have been so busy and fast for the past 2 years. Getting sick forced me to slow down. Moving to Tanzania and not working also changed the pace of my life. My oldest turned 7 years old last week. I don't want to miss the beauty of these years in her life. I don't want to be walking so fast that when I finally do slow down they are gone. Like these flowers, I want to soak up the joy and beauty of the gift I have been given today.
The magic is the in the gifts God gives us that we often miss. The gifts of beauty and deep joy. I don't want to look back and feel regret that I didn't even see them when they were right in front of me, and I was too busy to notice.
(All the flowers in this post are from my yard from days when I slowed down and grabbed my camera. They are not blooming in my yard today.)