As the ice finally thaws, and patches of brown grass appear after months without seeing the sun, the short, squat pasqueflower pokes through. It’s one of the first wildflowers to raise its stubborn, weary head, its translucent purple petals opening each day to soak in sunlight then closing again and bowing, bracing for each inevitable spring snow.
As the delicate beauties fade, in their place come bluebells and shooting stars, then Indian paintbrush in a palette of orange, pink and red. One day those paintbrush, too, will fade, replaced by yet another flower, another seed, grass or fruit.
That is the comfort of spring and summer. As they cycle through – snow slowly retreating up mountainsides leaving marshy, green grass in its wake – we know what’s coming next. That kind of ever changing constant may be the most perfect answer to our insecure lives.
This summer won’t be normal for most of us. It won’t be baseball games and carnivals, rodeos and street festivals.
But nature will still be there. Wildflowers will still bloom. Fish will be hungry. Pronghorn babies will wobble behind their mothers until they can race around on their own. Bear cubs will stick close as they learn where to find berries, moths and roots. Yellow-headed black birds will flit through shore grass and pelicans will glide effortlessly over water.
Take a minute this summer to appreciate those constants, those pieces of nature that existed long before we did and may well continue on after we’re gone. They’re the moments we should not take for granted.
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