Hiking, Suffering and Wildflowers

Joy is the transformation of our suffering, not the escape of all we have to face.

Mark Nepo

This post has had difficult showing up. I changed the type of WordPress account and some things did not transfer so easily. So If you have read this already, forgive me! Or enjoy the flowers once more.

May Apple struggles with dead leaf

This quote and this May Apple spoke to me. I also saw a trillium struggling with a dead leaf. Will I embrace these images and know that my suffering too can be transformed? Will I grasp that I do not have to escape all I have to face?

We took a walk at Eastfork state park. Then within a day or two we walked Whipple Nature Preserve. We had been there 2 years ago, during the pandemic. Wow! We were in older bodies now. Because of partial muscle tear in my right shoulder I could only use my walking stick with my left hand/arm. The hike was more difficult than we remembered, but when we got to the Betony Poppies it was well worth it!

Betony Poppies (yellow) and Large-Flowered Trillium (white)

The poppies covered many places on the hillside. At one point my phone got too hot next to my hiking body. This Brigadoon-like photo resulted.

Yes, it was a magical place!

How many other hillsides are covered with flowers and wonders that we never see? We are blessed to find these. I bask in their beauty. I had been feeling drained and empty. This helped fill my well again!

We saw “Nodding Trillium” which another hiker told us is supposed to bloom white. Yet here, it is blooming red!

Yes, the bloom is under the leaf! photo by r m dutina

Back to the quote above, we both were aching by the time we returned to the car. We promised we would skip one half of the trail next time… walk the branch to the left at the fork and then come back that way after we see flowers.

And oh, there were flowers! The trout lily had already bloomed. They have a special place in our hearts as at our last house they absolutely covered the hillside. The other flowers made up for missing the trout lilies! Violets in yellow, white, confederate, and purple wood violets or blue if you prefer!

photo by r m dutina
squaw root by r m dutina

As said on TV, “But wait! There’s more!!”

Shooting stars and squirrel corn!

I cannot seem to find just one name for this trillium. I have always called it Wake-Robin but online seems to call it ToadShade.

Photo by r m dutina

I left some flower photos out. We were drenched in beauty by the time we hiked back to the car. The reason I wanted to return to this hike was the Virginia Bluebells. One hiker told us they were about finished. I had almost given up hope of reaching them and Poof! There they were!

photo by r m dutina. Good thing he captured this. I was so delighted to see them, but also so tired that I never took a picture!

I am writing this on Tuesday after the Sunday hike. Yep, I am still sore and aching. Will I do it again next year? I will, with God’s help!!

The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

Psalm 24:1 KJV
photo by r m dutina

It seems as if this tree next to where we parked is saying,”Good job, guys! High five!”

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