Friday, April 11, 2014

Flowers and Dirt

"trampled down like mud"
Micah 7:10

These pictures aren't great.  I took them with my phone.  So I hope you can see them okay.

I took these at a baseball field a few weeks ago.  We were visitors there, and it's not a field we've played at before. 

You see the dirt-y part of this picture?  It's a pathway from a practice area, to the field itself, going around an equipment shed.  Our kids trampled across this area when it was their turn to take the field, and it was obvious from the patchy grass that we were far from the first team to do so.  Clearly the grass has trouble growing there.

But what's harder to see in that picture, in the lower left-hand corner.  See them?

Lovely little lavender flowers!  I saw them and smiled to myself, and pointed them out to my husband, "Look at those amazing flowers that insist on growing, despite all the cleats that parade through here!"

And immediately two words came to mind:  buffalo wallow.

A buffalo wallow is a natural depression in the topography of the prairie that would collect rain.  The water would draw buffalo, to drink, and to bathe.  Over the years, this depression would grow, holding more water and attracting more wildlife.

Here's the wikipedia photo:

When I was a kid and read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, Laura tells the story of her youngest sister, Grace, wandering away from their home when no one was watching.  The rest of the family split up to search for her on the vast prairie.

Laura was the one who found Grace, sitting in an old buffalo wallow that was filled with violets.  Laura had never seen anything like it before, and when her Ma asked her, "Where did you find her?"  Laura found herself at a loss to describe the beautiful, fragrant hollow place.

How's that for a stellar quality photo?   Direct from my personal copy of "By the Shores of Silver Lake"
"Masses of violets blossoming above low-spreading leaves.  Violets covered the flat bottom of a large, round hollow.  All around this lake of violets, grassy banks rose almost straight up to the prairie-level.  There in the round, low place, the wind hardly disturbed the fragrance of the violets... 'Pa, could it be a fairy ring?  A place like that couldn't just happen, Pa.  Something made it.'"

Pa explained to Laura how the hollow was formed, and there was such irony in those massive, ungainly creatures being a part of that delightful place.  Life and beauty emerged.

I don't know if those little lavender flowers appeared because of all those boys' cleats, or in spite of them.  But I was reminded that lovely and fragile often win out over heavy and strong.  And I was reminded to persevere in the mud, because the flowers are coming.

~ "Love bears all things,
  believes all things,
  hopes all things,
     endures all things" ~
1 Corinthians 13:7

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