The World’s Tiniest Star-shaped Wildflower
There is a place that must be shared.
Through it, a path proceeds from what is known, to what is forever renewed.
Yet renewal depends on the season’s turn and the ones who would endeavor to witness this turning.
For what does change really mean if there are no witnesses to the transformation?
Along the earthen trails and less trodden pathways there is a world to view in the microcosm of a new leaf, or deep in the tracks of a passing white-tailed faun.
Truth holds that everything interacts with everything else.
The fibers of knowing intertwine with mysteries that have yet to be fully explained by contemporary science, yet our hearts flow in the currents behind growth, death, and perpetual renewal.
Damp green, paves the way for those who step lightly onto the majesty of life in all of it’s myriad forms.
Thick moss carpets the soul of these spirits who rest quietly in the bounty of our true home, who bring peace to all that approach the magical places in silence.
Yet in an instant those spirits quickly flip the pages of history in gusts of wind beneath powerful storms, only to rain down gently once again into the furrows of plowed fields and the valleys of settlements past.
These are the ones who look upon us with ancient eyes. The new caretakers who, willing or not, we have become.
We are here with the roots, the grasses, the unfurling leaves of the ones who clamor in thirst to drink light from the afternoon sun.
We are part of this Spring festival, this charade of spirits cloaked secretly in the guise of wild flowers, of twisting bark, of tiny wings and six legged creatures that work tirelessly to sustain what IS, and of the profusion that wrap around hillsides and beyond to the mountain tops that span horizons.
Aware or not, we are part of it all.
We are the gardeners who have been given a small speck of time to nurture, and to be nurtured by this green dot in a sea of stars.
We are assembled by all that surrounds us, energized by tendrils that stretch where no gravity can master, and bolts that occasionally burst white hot from anvil clouds echoing reminders across the plains – reminders that we are only as big as we can imagine, and that the significance of our daily struggles diminish as each flash cascades its brilliance upon the Earth.
Our lifeboat beneath this thin veneer of atmosphere sails on currents, visible only if one observes the clouds and the birds that soar among them; and trees that bend and sway to the victorious refrain of a symphony, one that has been composed by every color from which life exudes, one that runs through us, around us, over us, from us, and goes on in spite of us.
The unconquerable pulse of life is ever present in these woods. And yes, it can even be seen by our naked eyes as the mightiest force on Earth awakens in a green ball of ten billion atoms, then slowly reveals the glory of budding petals that encircle the world’s tiniest star-shaped wildflower.
Inspired by a walk along McCoy Creek in Buchanan, Michigan
— Writing and photography by Joseph Maas