I don’t remember when I first fell in love with the wildflower called Shooting Star (Primula sect. Dodecatheon).
Back in the late 70s, my dad took me to the camera store near Oklahoma City University and bought me my first Nikon. The next time we were at the cabin together, the two of us took our cameras on hikes and recorded images of wildflowers. I remember him searching for the Spotted Coral Root Orchid that bloomed in the summer, usually near the base of a rotting tree. I don’t remember seeing any Shooting Star.
One summer in the 90s I took my first photograph of a Colorado Shooting Star. The patch of flowers was up the canyon a ways, right on the bank of the river. I climbed over a fence so I could get close enough to take a photograph. Each summer I went back to that spot to see if the shooting stars were still blooming there. (No, I did not scale the fence again. Most of the time, the gate was open!) And then I found a little patch of them at the river’s edge right below our cabin. Their eco system, nestled in the base of an old pine tree.
Each time I get here to the canyon, I take a pilgrimage down to the river and visit the shooting stars.
I admire the flowers for their resilience. They are so beautiful, tender, delicate, tenacious, putting down roots next to a frigid, rushing river. The summer after the flash flood of 2013, I wondered if the flowers would still be there. I found that their tree had fallen, but that enough pine roots were still there to hold together their home. Shooting Star, grass, moss, and ferns. Now they bloom, courageously hanging out over the water.
I love you, my beautiful little Shooting Stars. You give me stability, courage, joy, and hope. May I — may we — be as resilient as you.
They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. … And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
– John 19:40, 42 (NRSV)
Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.
– Isaiah 53:4-5 (NRSV)
When Jesus had given thanks, he broke [the bread] and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
– 1 Corinthians 11:24-26 (NRSV)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.
– Hebrews 12:1-3 (NRSV)
How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.
– Psalm 36:7-9 (NRSV)
Maybe it’s because I love beautiful photographs, but I’ve always had one of those calendars that hangs on my wall. When the new month arrives, I turn the page to see what picture will accompany my journey for the next thirty days.
When Jack came to live with us, I started making calendars of Jack photos and/or cartoons. I made one for myself and gave them as gifts and such. (I now have six-year’s-worth of old Jack calendars that I can’t seem to throw away.)
This year, I pulled together some of my favorite pictures from my Scotland trip and made a calendar featuring Scotland. I think I’ll have a Jack calendar here at home and a Scotland calendar at the office.
Anyway, I realized that others might have the same old-fashioned craving — for a calendar that travels with you through the year. If you do, I have a few you might like to consider. Just take a look at them at Redbubble. (If you are a photographer or an artist, you might want to check out Redbubble. You can upload your works and have them printed on everything from cards to calendars, to phone cases, clocks, and mugs.)
And if anyone wants an old Jack calendar, just let me know. 🙂