The feeling of dew covered grass on bare feet will soon be memory. I strolled slowly along the edge of the forest looking to see what God would show me. I noticed that the Pipevine Swallowtail seemed just a little different from the others that frequently flutter and soar around my mountain. I raised the lens and took a few shots as she went about collecting nectar from the flowers. In the lens I found that she had a beautiful purplish tone in her wings. Perhaps it was just the low angle of the sun or the longer wavelengths of the Fall light but she was definitely showing a rare color. Maybe not extremely rare but certainly in the minority. The leading edge of the forewings even carries a bit of blue that’s only supposed to be on the hind wings.
Sometimes we look at ourselves in the mirror and see things that we consider to a defect. A mole or freckles being classic examples. But if we compare ourselves to the rest of creation we begin to understand that it’s those unique features that gives us our individual beauty.
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I’ve said it before about how much I love twisted and crooked, gnarly trees. The curls sweeps of the wood speak of challenges that were overcome to survive. I’m not sure what caused the arabesque in the trunk of this one but the moment I saw the double curve I fell in love with the tree. No doubt that it had to have carried the weight of at least one or maybe two larger trees as it grew. I also have no doubt that it’s unique shape prevented it from being harvested at some point in its history.
Sometimes God allows us to go through struggles that we don’t understand. We might wonder how much longer a situation will last. We might think that the burden we carry will pull us down. But if we just keep going and we don’t give up we can make it. Sure, there’s going to be scars and we may not stand as tall as some of our contemporaries. But, that doesn’t make us any less beautiful. It makes us overcomers and it makes us unique.
As I looked around at the surrounding forest there were hundreds of trees that were straight and tall. Some of trunks were so thick that you and your best friend couldn’t reach all the way around them by joining hands. But they all faded into the background. The only one that stood out and begged to be photographed was the one who was unique. One day this tree will fall just like the rest of them. As a woodworker I can imagine some bent wood furniture being made from crooked trunk. If it ever happens it will be a centerpiece in someone’s home where the others couldn’t compete with the graceful curves produced by overcoming the struggle. Don’t ever give up. Bend and adapt to overcome and you’ll grow into something special.
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