(Soapwort Gentian-autumn wildflower found at Craggy Gardens)
In an earlier post, I wrote about how my Mama loved Craggy Gardens and how she went there as often as possible before she was stricken with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. So to celebrate and honor her birthday last week, Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man and I decided to head once more to Craggy.
Fact is, I feel drawn there lately. It’s funny—I never even think about visiting Mama’s gravesite in Greensboro, NC. I know that many find solace in visiting the place where their loved one’s body was laid to rest, but not me. That grave holds only her earthly remains—the broken body that failed her. Craggy Gardens is the place she loved while she was living and strong and healthy and able to hike its many trails. Lately, I have a sense when I go there that I’m seeking something, though I’m not sure what. I do know that I often feel her presence there, especially when our children are along.
So, with my heart wide open, I go to Craggy. Always seeking—and hoping that whatever I’m supposed to find there will reveal itself in due time. And I did find a lovely treasure this visit—a wildflower I’d never seen before. Fortunately, no one was around at the time but BRBCM, because I couldn’t contain my excitement and hollered like I’d found a bag of gold, instead of a common soapwort gentian. As I’ve written before, despite being a very shy person, I have an inclination towards frequent and unbridled episodes of unrestrained exuberance over what others might regard as insignificant natural events. And I’m afraid, in my case, there is no cure. :-)
I get that from my Mama. Although she encountered a great deal of hardship and sadness in her life, she was as open to the world as a baby and prone to childlike enthusiasms when discovering some new natural treasure. And though I too have had much hardship and sadness, I have that same huge capacity for finding joy in the ordinary and delight in the commonplace. Praise be.
Mama taught me to see beauty everywhere, and I am so grateful. It was one of her many gifts to me and is so often the grace that saves me. And I like to think that I (and Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man) have passed that on to our own children and that they, too, have the gift of seeing beauty everywhere and in the everyday.
So here is just a bit of the beauty I captured and the new (to us) wildflower we found on our pilgrimage to Craggy Gardens—on the birthday of Queen Winabel.