This Tapestry of Imperfect Things
Clackamas River Trail · Mount Hood National Forest · Estacada · Oregon
But for the roiling mist suffusing the highlands and the occasional flicker of leaves under the gentle pitter-patter of raindrops and tree drip, stillness reigned supreme along the Clackamas River Trail on a cool and drizzly Sunday afternoon. With spring in full swing, new fronds and leaves erupted from the ground with youthful fervor, exquisite in their freshly-minted flawlessness. A bounty of rain-flecked wildflowers peppered the hillsides, from just-emerging shiny geranium to fully-blossomed western columbine to slightly past-prime Clackamas iris. And although it was the color green in its myriad shades that clearly ruled the day, it was the subtle interposition of ailing and senescent orange and red sword fern fronds in the midst of all this verdant vitality that drew my eye to this softly-lit trailside scene--one I might have glossed over completely were it not for the intriguing touch of disorder.
I think many of us dream of the perfect earthly life, of eternity...but cyclicity is the natural order of things; in wide-ranging scales, it defines the fundamental loom-knit pattern of our universe. At an individual level, it's our cumulative imperfections that help shape our character and reveal our strengths and virtues in alto-relievo, and it's the tenuous impermanence of things that bestow poignancy and meaning to the watershed moments that comprise the rich story of our lives.