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Coming Home

by Gloria Hopkins

It's been a stunning morning.  As I do every day I crawled out of bed, opened my bedroom door and headed down the hallway. Through the window at the end of the hall I take a quick glance at the sun coming up before heading downstairs. I pass this scene every day but today something caught my eye. From below the dark horizon emerged the enormous silhouette of a cloud and behind that deep hues of orange and gold pushed upward.

A little higher were tiny gold clouds no bigger than stars twinkling above the orange darkness. Lit by the sun still far below the horizon they shimmered, dancing with the promise of the beauty to come. Nature photographers know well this kind of beauty. The dancing clouds knew, too: this kind of beauty is meant to be announced.

It was a subtle moment but one that stopped me in my tracks. Of course I thought of my camera but I instinctively knew there was something more important than photography going on here. You see, often things happen in nature to catch my attention and they are signs of some bigger message. I can usually read these signs like the back of my aging but still rock-steady hands. This time it was no sign but a clear message directed at me alone.

It was nature telling me in hues of gold and shapes of stars that its time to heal. Time to stop allowing things to get in the way of my dreams. It's time to use my strength to shatter the many barriers that I constantly face. It was clearly nature calling me home.

I love Florida and the amazing wildlife found here but my heart is in the mountains and the deserts of the west. Home is west and I've been trying to get there for years.

For too long my plans to go home have been changed by negative, life altering events. One right after another, from putting on hold a relocation trip from Florida to the west, to more recently being bed-bound because of an injury that I had nothing to do with causing. I've been battling problems and housebound for so long that I can't even remember what it feels like to be in the field.

Here was my reminder. Big and gold and dancing like stars right in front of me. Its nature again, beckoning, pushing and pulling at the same time. It's her again, and again I'm listening.

* * *

Nature is not only humbling in her beauty but unrivaled in her ability. The visuals can take the spirit to new heights and her elements can heal the body and soul. She works in subtle ways. Small moments. A brief glance or the flash of a light. This is how she speaks to me.

So as it is my way to have everything my way or no way at all, I get myself up today. No more will I be a heaping mass of human being engrossed in pain and shackled by drugs. Nature speaks again and the message is clear. Look above the darkness, stay focused on the stars and soon the beauty will be yours


Text and image copyright Gloria Hopkins