It is a lichen day. Not a bit of rotten wood lies on the dead leaves, but it is covered with fresh, green cup lichens… All the world seems a great lichen and to grow like one. ~Henry David Thoreau from his journal
Nature doth thus kindly heal every wound. By the mediation of a thousand little mosses and fungi, the most unsightly objects become radiant of beauty. There seem to be two sides of this world, presented us at different times, as we see things in growth or dissolution, in life or death. And seen with the eye of the poet, as God sees them, all things are alive and beautiful. ~Henry David Thoreau (journal)
I’m a bit of a lichen myself – a bit of an opportunist, thriving in drizzle, sometimes colorful but most often not.
Mostly I hang on. Persevering. At times obnoxiously tenacious.
A dreamer of fairy tale kingdoms while living simply in plain sight.
In a patch of baked earth At the crumbled cliff’s brink, Where the parching of August Has cracked a long chink,
Against the blue void Of still sea and sky Stands single a thistle, Tall, tarnished, and dry.
Frayed leaves, spotted brown, Head hoary and torn, Was ever a weed Upon earth so forlorn,
So solemnly gazed on By the sun in his sheen That prints in long shadow Its raggedness lean?
From the sky comes no laughter, From earth not a moan. Erect stands the thistle, Its seeds abroad blown. ~Robert Laurence Binyon –“The Thistle”
There isn’t much that thrives in a dry summer like this other than mounds of blackberry bushes and scattered clusters of thistle. They both are defended by thorns to keep them from being eaten by all but the most persistent and hungry grazing animals.
I admire and recognize such tenacity, knowing I too have held tightly to my own defenses to keep from being swallowed up. I approach these weeds with respect for the scars they can leave behind – their roots go deep, their seeds travel far.
We coexist because we must.
How else would beauty come from our bleeding wounds?