How to Spot a Miracle -- In the Meadow, the Woods and the Wetland

The San Juan Islands -- water and woodlands. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Want to experience a miracle? Take a walk on one of Washington state's San Juan Islands and just believe what you see. Beach, forest, wetland, meadow -- the various San Juan Islands ecosystems often coexist just steps from one another. An afternoon's walk can take you past woodsy kinickinick, sun-loving oxeye daisies, and salty pickle grass wafting in the tide. Miracles all.

Two summers ago, I spent a week taking pictures on a tiny peninsula on one of the San Juans. It was just a couple of acres, and I had just a few days, so the

A wood, a meadow, and a salt water cove. Photos by Barbara Newhall

photos you see here represent but one small slice of what goes on flora-wise on the San Juans -- and just a hint of what planet Earth will do, left to her own devices.

I don't know if there's a God out there, but it seems to me that we live in a miraculous world: on a few small acres in the Pacific Northwest, just one corner of the planet, so much desire, so much effort, so much complexity unfolding.

Come to think of it, there's probably a lot happening in the empty lot below my house. Maybe I'll go take a look.

c 2106 Barbara Falconer Newhall. All rights reserved.

More San Juan Islands thoughts and photos at "San Juan Islands Flora: Or, I Cling, Therefore I Am." If you enjoyed this post you might also like "The Hagia Sophia: Face to Face With Islam in a Christian Church."

Barbara Falconer Newhall is the author of the prize-winning interfaith book, "Wrestling with God: Stories of Doubt and Faith," from Patheos Press. She writes about her rocky spiritual journey -- and the view from the second half of life -- on her website,

Pickle grass and algae along the shore. Photo by Barbara Newhall