I was rather astonished, after a very long and dry summer, to see a flower blooming alongside the Sonoma Overlook Trail. Really, I thought? After seeing the meadow grass blasted completely past brown into a stark grey in the long summer drought, I couldn’t imagine what would possess a flower to bloom. But there it was.
With bright orange-red blooms, it stood out in stark contrast to its brown and grey surroundings. What were the conditions that could enable this to happen at this point in the year, I wondered? How could it survive, let alone make such a flagrant display? I’m not sure that I will ever know, but I was thankful, and I gladly climbed the short way up the hill from the trail to document its courageous and unexpected existence.
Later that day, rain began to fall. Actual, serious, rain. Welcome rain. But the flower existed before the moisture. It had made its play for existence and attention when there was nothing left upon which to draw. When the soil had been sucked dry. When all of the other flowers had long since gone down to dust and desiccation. When clearly, all hope should have been lost.
But it wasn’t. And seeing this, and understanding its message, I took heart once again.