Thursday, May 29, 2014

Keep Your Face to the Sunshine

The road up the mountain to our cabin is narrow, bumpy, and one-lane. It winds up steep grades and through dark woods. In some places the road opens up along the top of a grassy ridge that slopes deeply to a creek below. Sometimes I can't bear to look over the edge!  It takes while to get to the top and there is a lot of jostling along the way. Half-way up the mountain, two-wheel drive cars have to stop. It's too rough for them to carry on.

After many trips up and down the mountain, I have started to learn of special treats along the way. Last trip down we stopped by a puddle by the road that is fed by a spring until mid-summer. There are always tadpoles there this time of year, and we were not disappointed. Tiny little swimmers were skittering around with much glee!

In another spot, the road winds through some deep, dark woods. It's a good place to keep an eye out for bears! But animals are quick and difficult to spot, probably because our diesel motor warns them we are near. But the flowers don't wilt or fade as we draw close. The road opens up to a rocky hillside and in the early spring I make sure to say "please stop" if I see the pretty purple flowers of the shooting stars in bloom.

Shooting stars seem to love rocky soil! And sunshine! They cluster together in vibrant chorus of purple and green. I love their abundance! One has to keep careful watch, because they arrive and then the blossoms disappear in a few days time. One has to time the trip up the mountain "just right".

Shooting stars are not abundant "just anywhere" on the mountain. There are only a few spots that I have found them growing. I'm pretty excited that this spring I've found two small plants growing in the rocky soil on the sunny side of the cabin as well. I hope they multiply over time and provide us with a pretty purple haze each spring.

Lessons can be learned from the wildflowers of the woods. The shooting stars remind me that no matter how rocky or difficult the path, as long as one keeps their face to the sunshine, everything will turn out alright.

Shooting stars were one of my mother's favorite flowers. She stitched this pretty little wall-hanging on felt. It's one of my little treasures. Every time I see it, I'm reminded of the delight that she expressed during my growing up years. Whenever we would find shooting stars on our flower trips to the mountains she would express much joy! She was a botanist and although I didn't fully appreciate her love of flowers while I was a kid, it's grown on me and I appreciate the lessons she taught from nature. Especially from the flowers.

If you'd like to see some of the other May flowers from the mountain, click here.


  1. Beautiful, and beautifully said.

  2. That climb sounds quite exciting! Such good advice, La Tea Dah. Your mother's art work is very special.

  3. Shooting stars are a pretty spring sight around here, too. They've come and gone already. Like you say, they are fleeting beauties.

  4. Your trips to the mountains delight me. I love that you found shooting stars and tadpoles too. Your mother's hanging is wonderful, what a treasure.


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