Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas is a magical place. It harbors family memories, exposes changes in nature to our wondering eyes and instills a sense of miracles and beauty every time we visit. This year was no exception. Though the weather was cold and wet we were able to hike our favorite waterfall trail, one we have hiked many times. My children grew up exploring these woods and climbing these rocks. Now my grandchildren do the same. Every four years our friends join us there in an election year pilgrimage to share food, tell stories of our lives, lick our wounds if our candidates lost and rejoice with hope if our candidates win the opportunity to make our government work. I hope the tradition lingers into old age.
The photo below is a composite of the same trees taken 10 years apart. The tree on the left (shown in the middle image at the far left) has a healed over hollow and some new sprouts. The tree on the right still carries the heart shaped rock I admired ten years ago. I love the stubbornness of nature … the slow build that growth and adversity uses to form life.