It’s never too late to try something new.

 This summer I at last began to learn to identify and name the native plants of the West Coast. I had been meaning to for years but had never managed to get around to it.

 I am by no means an expert. I still have so much to learn. I am still very much an amateur. However, I’m OK with that. An amateur, after all, comes from the Latin amare, meaning “to love,” and I certainly do love this new world I am discovering.

By no means was a walk in the woods not amazing before I started the process of learning the names of all the different plants. But now, I feel that there is an extra layer and richness to the experience. The beautiful green blur has begun to come into sharper focus.

 Now, as I walk along, I recognize plants that I know and call them by their name. I say hello. They have become my friends. Through this learning I have noticed patterns in their distribution, relationships between them and other organic and inorganic features of the landscape.

 They inspire me, they teach me, they fill me with wonder and awe. I should not be surprised at this, however, because the Scriptures are full of the imagery of plant life. From mustard to lillies, from wheat to vines, from cedar trees to flowers in the desert, plants are used again and again to help us catch a glimpse of the fullness, glory and mystery of God.

 This Season of Creation, let us give thanks for plant life, for all the ways that it inspires and moves us to worship and for the ways it teaches us about ourselves and our Creator.
Thanks be to God!