It’s cold this morning in
We old-timers call this “Blackberry Winter”. It happens every year in the South, when the blackberries are blooming. So consider yourself warned for next year and watch for the blackberries to finish blooming before you reset the thermostat or put away your jackets and heavy bedcovers!
Do you know what blooming blackberries look like? (That picture right here isn't them. Those are forget-me-nots.) You’ve likely passed by them every day this week. They are the white, arching plants along every roadside this time of year in our geo-zone. Come the Fourth of July, they’ll be covered in plump berries.
That makes me think about how much we miss because we are so far removed from living “near the land”. How many of us can we look up at the sky and tell by the cloud formations alone what kind of weather to expect in the next few hours? Can you tell a tomato seedling from that of a zucchini? Can you differentiate the call of a cardinal from that of robin? How many of us can tell which direction is North by looking at the shadows on the ground? Can you estimate the time of day by the position of the sun?
What kind of a culture are we living in that we are desensitized not only to violence in the media but also to the beauty of the natural world? What is left, but middle-nothingness? We speak of blandness as being “vanilla”, but how long has it been since we paid attention to what vanilla really tastes like?
Today, I am going to pay attention to my senses. Maybe it’s because of my illness and the realization that my eyes are failing, but I feel deeply convicted that I am missing so much of the beauty that God has placed within my reach. Today, I will count the number of petals on the forget-me-nots that bloom in my herb garden. I will “forget-me-not” who created them. I will marvel that only a scant handful of people will ever see this particular flower, and that God is gracious enough to allow me to be one of them.
Quick update from yesterday's appointment: no definite diagnosis, but much information found in the blood! I have Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) like 95% (literally!) of the US population, and it could have infected my nervous system in a reawakening of the virus. There are no heavy metal/toxins in my blood, so my house and well water are fine and no one is trying to poison me. :) Devic's (neuromyelitis optica) is not yet ruled out. We wait for the next flare-up and test more, likely with a spinal MRI, lumbar puncture (yeeouch!) and repeated blood work. At this point, symptoms are still slowly improving. (YAY!)