Super bloom. Death Valley, California. February 27, 2016.
I wish we could bring the children to see this, I said to my husband as we tread upon the desert floor, awed by the rafts of flowers that drifted right up to the base of the silent stony mountains, awed by the One who dreamed up this desert. I don’t ever want them to lose their wonder, I said.
Rich nodded. We returned to the car and drove on, intent on seeing. The salt flats of Badwater mimicked waves breaking on a beach, backed by the Panamint Range and beyond, the mighty Sierra Nevada mountains, dressed in snow. It’s all a wonder, I breathed.
Badwater. Death Valley, California.
It isn’t just the masses of flowers, I said. Look at these tiny little flowers. I pointed to an outpost of pale green foliage and miniature blooms, barely bigger than the coarse sand that held its roots. The flowers stood tall, like a surfer sure of her balance on the wave’s face. This is wonder, too, I murmured.
We collected dust on our boots and empty water bottles in the back seat. We drove, we walked, we stood still and silent, listening to the desert quiet. Finally, as the day spent itself, we watched the shadows come in like the evening tide, revealing more than they obscured. Wonder.
Mountains above Panamint Springs, Death Valley, California.
That night, fed and relaxing before the fire in the parlor of our hotel, I contemplated the proprietor’s kindness, the well-brewed coffee, the smooth wide roads that led us to our destination.
And a tug like a riptide grabbed my heart: This is the wonder I want to share with our grandchildren. The grand national-park-gee-whiz-wouldya-lookit-that stuff, sure, of course. But it doesn’t take any practice to admire a meadow of flowers in the desert. I want to teach them to look and listen for the everyday wonders that inhabit each day–the crowd of daily reminders that God really is with us.
33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the Lord.
Psalm 104:33-34 (ESV)
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