A few days after my birthday this year, my family and I traveled inland to the highest peak on the Oregon Coast Range, Mary's Peak, near Corvallis. Although I live near the beach, my heart and soul are in the mountains and that day my heart and soul were at home. Not only was it close enough to my birthday to be a birthday hike, it was also the Feast of the Visitation which has a very special meaning to me.
And, to top it off, the wildflowers were out in full display, especially the Wild Iris (above). I also saw Bear Grass, Indian Paint Brush and even a whole field of Wild Irises. It was amazing!
(I wish the picture of the field of Wild Irises (above) had turned out better because I'd never seen so many altogether. I didn't realize Bear Grass (below) grows in Western Oregon)
I got home from this amazing trip and immediately posted the Wild Iris picture at the top of this post on my new Instagram account (holly.joymarie if you want to follow me) and made it the wallpaper on my phone. I felt deep contentment and joy about the whole trip and that picture captured my feelings. Until Eli looked at it and said, "What's that black spot in it?" I zoomed in, and to my horror, well at least disappointment, I saw this:
That bug in the center ruined my perfect picture!! Now, every time I look at the un-zoomed (is that a word) picture all I see is that bug!! Why does it have to be there? Maybe I could edit it out, but that would take time and energy I don't have and not only that, all this photo editing stuff feels like cheating to me anyway. Did you know my phone camera has a "beauty" edit that while I'm taking a selfie I can use the beauty function to adjust the amount of wrinkles and flaws on my face? How can I ever feel like I am okay when there is a beauty editing?
Believe in your selfie. Ha!
And that's just it. The desire for the perfect selfie, the perfect life, the perfect face, the perfect body, the perfect house, the perfect family, the perfect picture of a flower, always gets all messed up with the reality imperfection. It follows, then, that I get overly focused on what's wrong or negative about myself or my life. I look in in the mirror, and see creeping wrinkles and crooked teeth. It's the same with my parenting skills, my cooking, my wardrobe, and my life. All too often I only see the negative.
We live in a world where perfect images reign supreme.They only get more perfect all the time, yet my life is not perfect. No one's life is perfect. Things go wrong, get dirty, broken, and ugly. There's envy, jealousy, self hate, un-forgiveness and flowers that have bugs in them. Somehow, by the grace of God, I need to un-zoom from the negative and see the whole beautiful picture. That bug is there, but the Iris is still beautiful and I may have never known about that bug if I hadn't zoomed in.
I can't let one measly little bug ruin the memory of one very amazing and exhilarating day on top of Mary's Peak with my family. I'm truly blessed, bugs and all.
Note: no photo editing was used in this picture. I know that may surprise you, but that's how we look in real life.