She was glad to see the root forming a loophole was still there, and remarkably unchanged. When she had first seen that natural formation she had flashed to her days as a paralegal, and from then on thought of it as Nature's Loophole. The old woman smiled as she thought of that day she had first seen this formation. How much joy something as simple as finding it had brought her. Hers had been interesting, if sometimes very hard life at times. She had seen more than her fair share of pain and sorrow. But, she had also seen a lot of joy and happiness.
As she stood gazing at the formation, a butterfly flew through the loophole. And suddenly she remembered a day long long ago when she had saved a caterpillar. The caterpillar had crawled over the pool edge, then fallen in. Because she loved butterflies so much, she got back in the pool, carefully rescued the caterpillar, and set it free at the base of a nearby tree.
Suddenly that one butterfly was joined by many many others. They flittered and fluttered all around the old woman. Then more butterflies flew through the loophole. Within seconds the old woman was completely surrounded by butterflies. Some covered her. The rest began to fly widdershins around her in one huge fluttering colorful mass.
At first this alarmed her because true Wiccan Wise Woman that she was, she knew that was not normally the right direction for positive Magick. But how could butterflies be evil? Then she heard a soft whispery voice, that seemed to be coming from the butterflies say, "Trust your instincts." So the old woman stilled herself, and did not panic when the very breath of life itself seemed to be sucked from her by those many fluttering wings.
The mass of butterflies circling her slowly stilled as well. Then began to swirl again. This time in a clockwise direction. As they swirled around her the butterflies that had covered ever inch of her began to join the swirling mass. As they did she began to breath easily again. In fact, far more easily than she had breathed in years.
As she watched the swirling mass of butterflies begin to disperse and go off in several different directions she realized there had been many species of butterflies in that swirling mass that had surrounded and covered her. Then one butterfly flew back to her, and for a just a second, landed on the hand still holding her walking stick.
Her eye of course had been drawn to the butterfly as it had landed on her hand. But now she stared in disbelief at the hand itself. It was no longer the gnarly wrinkled hand that had gripped the walking stick coming down to the river bank. It was now the hand of a young woman. As was the arm attached to the hand. And the moment her free hand flew to her face, she knew it too was now the face of a much younger woman.
She didn't understand the how and why of had just happened completely. But she knew that it somehow had something to do with saving that caterpillar so long ago, and her naming that formation Nature's Loophole later on. The spell she had unwittingly cast doing those two things had resulted in magick finding a way through that natural loophole in a most amazing way.
The red flower had burst forth in bloom last year, and shared her beauty with all who had an eye to behold it. As is Gaia's rule, her pollen and seeds had been shared with the wind, busy bees, and chirping birds. Under the brutal Texas sun the beautiful red flower began to gradually wilt and die. As that dying process for the flower continued the wildfires that swept through that summer destroyed acre upon acre of this beautiful hill country. One such fire was caused by a human idiot driving down the road with a lit BBQ pit in the back of his pickup on Father's Day.
But, even as she wilted in the brutal summer sun, that little red flower must have surely been smiling, because she had seen her seeds eaten by birds, and blown about by some of the harsh winds that had helped fan the flames of those wildfires. That little red flower knew if all went as Mother Nature planned, some of those seeds would one day become other beautiful red flowers.
It would be the next spring before anyone would know exactly when, and where those seeds would spring up. Most of the seeds that survived would spring up nearby the plant that had given birth to them. They in turn would follow Mother Nature's plan, and reproduce their kind. If left to their own devices, they would create a stand, then perhaps one day a field of beautiful little red flowers.
Some seeds however would not be such home bodies. They would really go places sailing along with the wind, or flying in a bird's fat belly. Some of those seeds would spring up in some unlikely places. One such seed, probably in the belly of a bird, finally settled on a spot on the entrance road of a beautiful place called Kreutzberg Canyon Natural Area. All winter long that solitary little seed would lay dormant. Fortunately, the winter was a mild one. So mild, that even as early as February the showers we had been getting brought forth a springtime bloom to the hill country.
More rains during March really got things going in the beautiful natural world that is this hill country. Creeks that had not seen water in a couple of years were now running. And the Guadalupe, that life giving ribbon of beautiful water that winds through this hill country, was flowing fast and furious at times. Lush landscapes were everywhere the eye looked. The grass was so thick and green, rumor had it some cows ate themselves to death. Trees that had come close to being kindling last summer, were now starting to unfurl bright green leaves. And flowers were blooming all over! Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrushes, and a host of other flowers lined the roadsides.
Along that one certain roadside, a certain little seed sprang up. Fed, watered, and warmed by the sunshine, it grew into a beautiful little red flower. That beautiful little red flower sat all alone on the side of that road. Oh there were other flowers around it, but it was the only one of its kind in that spot. Did it sit wondering perhaps if someone would drive by behold its beauty? Or go off the road too much admiring the view all around, and smash it to a small red pulp?
If that little red flower did wonder that, then on a beautiful Saturday afternoon it received its answer when I beheld the beauty of that little red flower as Mr. Grinch was taking me into the park so I could go for a hike. Fortunately, Mr. Grinch did not go off the road as he admired the view all around us, and leave that little red flower nothing but a little red pulp.
I saw no more red flowers like that one on that 3.2 mile meandering hike I took, so snapped a pic of the one by the roadside as we left after my hike. I shared that pic via Face Book, and it appears that beautiful little red flower is a lone poppy. After reading some of the comments about the picture I took of that flower, Morris, my maniacal little blue muse inspired me to write the little story I just did.
I hope all who read this story, and beheld the beauty of that solitary little red flower, enjoyed both the story, and the picture. I know that stumbling upon that little red flower, then taking that photo and sharing it with others has been a truly enjoyable, and very inspiring experience for me and the muse.
I am left wondering if perhaps one day in the future other little red flowers like that will pop up in that beautiful place called Kreutzberg Canyon Natural Area. Did Gaia bless me with witnessing, and actually photographing the beginning of those flowers becoming a part of that park? No matter what happens to that one little red flower, I must say here and now, "Thank you Gaia, Great Goddess of Our Earth, for blessing me with such a truly awesome, and in many ways, very humbling experience. Through that one little red flower I have learned what one little seed can do when You are left to Your own sometimes precocious devices."