Green may be the color of August, but in the corner of my backyard and in the thickets at the edge of the creek, it's a green embellished with tight clusters of dark purple berries that hug the tall stems of the American beautyberry in long, glossy strands.
The sparkling magenta jewels, and the critters that hide in the branches, are rare enticements that can coax me outside these sultry dog days of summer, but only if a camera is in my hands.
Truth is I lived here on Pollywog Creek for at least twenty years before I noticed the beautyberry growing wild in the dense foliage near the creek. I left the exploring to my adventurous boys who'd disappear with a machete for building of forts and return with muddy clothes and stories of near-misses with water mocassins.
Two thoughts occur to me as I scroll through my beautyberry photos. The first is wondering and lamenting what I've missed over the years because I'd left the adventures to the more curious and courageous. The second thought is this - though I can't go back and live those years differently, I have today.
In spite of it's limitations, this day is a gift - an opportunity to live with courage, wonder and a sense of adventure, and with eyes wide open to the beauty, grace and mercy around me.