Miracles Are All Around Us
by David Prather
On the Wild Side
As Published in: THE TITUSVILLE HERALD, Titusville, Pa., Friday, March 15, 2002
According to friend of Tolkien and Episcopal Theologian C.S. Lewis, there are two kinds of people in the world: Those who believe miracles never happen and those who believe everything in life is a miracle.
I belong to the latter class. No doubt, I’ve seen more than my share of the miraculous. Once, when my children were young, we together climbed Mount Angeles in Olympic National Park. Returning from the ascent, we had to pass in the dark of night through a deep forest filled with cavernous pockets where huge trees had uprooted and decayed. Just outside of it, we joined hands and prayed on a ridge that fell away on both sides to nothing but space. As we entered the blackness, the forest floor began to glow with a fluorescent blue light that enabled us to journey the last mile to our motor home on Hurricane Ridge, not only safely, but filled with peace, joy, and amazement.
Three years ago I saw that same blue light phosphorescing from the upturned stump of a dying Maple and discovered that the source was the mycelium of a mushroom species which glows in the dark.
Today I have in my hands a bundle of sticks not much different than some person in a third world country might use to cook supper. But these are willow cuttings, which will go into pots of coarse sand and peat moss and, with God's help, become 130 new willow trees to restore riparian habitat along Prather Run. I know it's a seemingly simple process— it’s how the Europeans brought entire vineyards with them in a pottery crock.
But to think that we can carry around a forest in an apron around our waist! Prather Run Headwaters Association will set out the rooted trees in May with the help of some Mayan friends who had a similar experience with a glow in the dark forest. Is that a Miracle or what?
I know of several beloved friends that were completely cured of cancer after doctors said there was probably no hope and my wife and I witnessed a sheep raised from the dead. No lie! These are miracles we will always hold in our hearts, but some of the most precious miracles are the ones we can hold in our hands.
While the cold winds of March tried to turn our greenhouse into an airborne object, I absorbed the inner warmth and strained my bifocals to discern the tiny black dots in my hand. Contained within these specks were a thousand bouquets of lavender and pink and white digitalis—three foot flower spikes reaching for the sky with brown and purple blotched throats offering hummingbirds and swallowtailed butterflies a drink.
Now you may say I am just being theatrical, but nothing of the sort. I
have it here. Simply a lighter brown dust, not really large enough to be
called a respectable seed. If I cover it, it dies. It must have light and
some moist peat for a bed. By June, it will be christened "Crystal Palace
Lobelia," cascading from hanging baskets with blooms of blue and wine
colored foliage. And in the center of the baskets, from wrinkled pieces of
gnarled and shriveled bark the size of a dime, clumps of Wind Flowers in
every pastel shade—their heads keeping time with the summer breeze.
If this hasn’t been enough to persuade you, right now you are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses: The cathedral monuments of Skunk Cabbage slipping the clutches of the mire where they are rooted and Trilliums preparing to unhood their white and ruby faces, casting off their blankets of hoarfrost and ice. It's a miracle!