Tiny Worlds


Collected on the trunk of our lilac tree is a tiny world of green and gold. Ancient pioneers of extreme conditions, the lichens thrive in heat, drought and cold. A symbiotic union of algae and fungi, they slowly grow and multiply. I am amazed by their tenacity and how they emerge where no other living thing dares to go. How they can only be present if the air is clean, so their presence in my yard is a gift.  And I realize how they've been here all along, in a nook of my own backyard. But I never noticed until today when I wandered the yard, after the rain. Looking up at the emerging lilac buds and trailing the raindrops clinging to a branch, I almost missed their bold display. But the lichen seemed to call out to me with their chartreuse and golden spores. More vibrant than usual from the thaw and rain, I took a closer look. Charmed by this tiny ancient world, I'm grateful that I paused. And I wonder what else is living in my yard, what else I may have missed. There is a tiny world watching us, beyond the obvious shadows and light. A world that invites a shift in attention, a deeper pause, a closer look.