Every day at my home I look outside my big picture window that faces East and overlooks the Plott Balsam mountain range, and gaze upon the very large English Laurel shrub that holds court several feet away. This magnificent evergreen is the gathering place for many birds and animals here in the Nantahala Forest. Cardinals, Towhees, Black-capped Chickadees, Doves, Wrens, Sparrows, Hummingbirds, Brown Thrashers, rabbits, squirrels, the occasional chipmunk, all seek shelter from time to time here, and search for food, too. The bird feeder hangs from the eaves, next to this honored specimen of Nature, and attracts a growing number of feathered friends.
In the spring, this lovely bush presents the most delightful gift of sweet smelling, cream-colored flowers, attracting bees to propagate more flowers and plants. A very tiny fairy house made from clay and handcrafted by a local potter, complete with open windows and a chimney, resides underneath. Sometimes after the sun goes down, tiny blue colored fairy lights magically appear under this shrub and frolic around in front of my window.
This English Laurel reminds me of the humans who have crowned themselves and others with laurel leaves: emperors, kings and queens, Olympians. And so, each time I gaze at this magnificent English Laurel, I remember that we are all victors. Our Creator intended for each and every one of us to live well and prosper, and to experience the joys of life. To see this wonderful shrub every day is a friendly reminder from the Heavens that we are all royalty: we are blessed and highly favored and wearing our crowns.
What is the gift of this English Laurel, you ask? For me, this lovely creation of God is a soothing balm and reminds me that we all have free will to choose each day what we create by our thoughts. Yes, there will be different thoughts by everyone, on a wide range of subjects and topics. The ultimate reality is our own choice to create, and to bloom where we are planted.
For me, I choose to look out my window and thank this English Laurel bush, these mountains and forests, and all God’s beautiful creatures for reminding me how sacred and precious our lives are, and to create peace, love and joy from within me to share with the world.
Featured image, “Green and White” fine art photograph by Teri Leigh Teed
“We were meant to be healers, storytellers, prophets, poets, singers and dancers.
Together we will heal ourselves, each other and the world.”
~ Lars Muhl, teacher, author and musician