“What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.”
Psalm 104:24 The Message
This is my seventh Trillium season with you. I always delight in walking and hiking in various places, delighting in the diversity and wonder of God’s beautiful creation, and this time of year I especially delight in seeing the Trilliums bloom. During my first spring on the north coast I became captivated by the simple, white flower with three petals blooming from the center of three large green leaves that is commonly found amongst our redwood trees. They are not unique to the north coast of California, but it is here that I first came to notice them, and it has been fun looking for the first of their blooms in a variety of places and to walk amongst them for the couple of months that they continue to bloom. There were no Trilliums in places I have previously lived, though there were other wondrous evidences of God’s “wonderful creations.” Living in a place one has not lived before helps one notice things in new ways.
Something else I noticed in a new way after moving here was how recent, and how painful, was the settlement of this region. Indigenous people lived here for eons of time prior to European Americans’ “discovery” of Humboldt Bay as a way of getting supplies to the inland gold fields in 1849, and it is really mind boggling how quickly towns were established around the bay with even our own church beginning in 1850 on Wiyot land. Something that is unique in this region is the number of Native Americans living on their ancestral lands. Through this church and my work with True North Organizing Network I have come to know Tolowa, Karuk, Yurok, Hupa and Wiyot people. I have heard them tell stories they heard from their ancestors and the challenges they continue to face in the understanding and maintaining of their cultural identity. Their stories have helped me learn and celebrate in new ways God’s “wildly, wonderful world,” and I long for us all to learn even more from those whose roots go deep in this wondrous part of God’s creation. For this reason I have invited a number of people whose ancestors lived here in the mid 19th century to share some of their stories and experiences during worship in the weeks following Easter. To learn more about this, please see the article elsewhere in this newsletter inviting you to be part of my Doctor of Ministry Project.
Enjoy spring time blooming all around you, including the Trilliums, and celebrate how God has “made earth [including Humboldt County] overflow with . . . wonderful creations.”