It’s finally warm enough to visit the vernal ponds in the woods behind our house.
|A Vernal Pond|
Last week, I didn’t know what a vernal pond was.
It’s a temporary pool of water, normally full of rain or melted snow, that lasts through the spring. What makes a vernal pond so special is the absence of predator fish.
Without fish, a vernal pond allows all the toads, frogs, turtles, salamanders, and newts to develop and thrive without being devoured. You can go to the vernal pond, examine all the eggs, spy on tadpoles and baby turtles, and pick up salamanders.
I learn that in Pennsylvania, nobody knows how many vernal ponds exist or where they are. These secret ponds evaporate and hide. The PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources sends researchers deep into the woods to locate, certify, and protect these wondrous locations.
What child (and her mother) can resist the mission to discover a secret habitat?
And how can I not relish the symbolism of such a beautiful concept? Just as the forest depends upon that temporary safe haven that cultivates what cannot develop elsewhere, I might form my own vernal ponds–deep within my soul, secret and safe from predators–where the things of God breed and develop.
This new season of birth and growth in nature reminds me to protect my own inner habitat from things that devour my hope and energy. And I want to be the kind of wife, mother, and friend that protects the places deep within the heart where others are growing and changing. I ask myself and others what we need to thrive. I live with flair by developing habitats where what needs to grow in us can and will. Untouched by predators, not threatened by what devours, we have a season to thrive.
(photo from Wikimedia Commons, Werewombat)
Journal: What do I need to do to create a thriving habitat both internally and externally in myself and others?