Treasures of the Mire

Last Wednesday, I walked to chapel braving Coal Pit Lane, a path as grim as its appellation. This ancient Bronze Age track is usually a quagmire, a long river of thick mud and impassable, dirty puddles. It was here last winter that I slipped on the ice and bruised my side, limping on to our mid-week service. On account of the current dry spell, I walked it again, seeking some variety in my chapel-ward strolls. Sure enough, it was dry as concrete, save a single muddy patch that required some careful navigation. Yet it was here that I saw growing a Ragged Robin- an increasingly rare plant which only grows in our ever-decreasing wetlands. The soggy lane I dread to walk is for Lychnis flos-cuculi a fertile habitat. Places of difficulty and danger often produce the rarest and most beautiful of blooms. Remember that, when next through the Valley of the Shadow of Death you pass.

Every joy or trial
  Falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial
  By the Sun of Love.
We may trust Him fully
  All for us to do;
They who trust Him wholly
  Find Him wholly true. 

Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879)