Today while sitting on the deck and watching the sunrise and seeing the birds flying to and fro, I am amazed how God has created such a wonderful world filled with such intricacies. As I sit and watch this all unfold, I see tiny little seeds floating by no bigger than a pin point. They would gently glide by, some landing softly on the deck while others were seeking other places to be. God has a plan for each of them, some to be food for a small bird flying by, while others will become a plant or perhaps a great tree somewhere; they are wonders of nature, each seed will in turn sustain life for God's creatures. Yesterday while recuperating from my illness I was sitting on the porch watching the hummingbirds and the little baby cardinals on our porch lattice. Anne planted vines of honeysuckle near them and they have grown on the lattice, thus providing homes and food for our feathered friends. As I turned my gaze over to the woods, I noticed a small opening there in the forest. I could see into the deepest part of the woods where the sun did not shine. I wondered what creatures were in that part of the woods where I could not see. While gazing intently into the forest my thoughts went back only a short time ago to the day that Will, Abby and myself were looking for leprechauns in those same woods. We would call out for them to show themselves, but to our discouragement, none appeared. We then found signs of their presence. Abby found a large strange looking mound of dirt located in an open spot near some sumac trees. Will noticed that it had an entrance hole so we called down for the leprechauns to come out. Much to our chagrin, they did not appear. Looking around further, we found another hole and surmised that they must have escaped through that exit. We did find evidence though of the leprechauns being there. Green moss was located in spots near the mound. Each place where the moss was found, we found that it was the exact location of where a leprechaun had sat. The children had located several places where the moss was growing and both Will and Abby became very excited in seeing that the leprechauns had been close by. Another day we noticed fairy dust on a branch of a tree, a silvery crust on the bark. I told my children that here is where a fairy sat down to rest. Will wanted to scrape it off and bring it back to Mama, but after Daddy stopped sneezing from holding it, I convinced them to show her by having Mama come up to the site. They now hold our woods as a very magical place filled with wonder and awe. I too wish with all my heart for a leprechaun or fairy to appear. This summer I am going to take Will to the top of our 500 foot hill behind us because that is where Shawnasee the king leprechaun lives. There is a small cave entrance there, but as I told Will, it is closed most of the time and is only opened when the king decides to come out and run through the forest with the other leprechauns. Will still looks for the pot of gold in the woods. We sometimes as a family, go to a local cemetery (Woodlawn), which was constructed with over 70 different species of trees, not counting all the wonderful bushes and shrubs growing there. It is at the edge of the forest and has an abundance of wildlife walking, playing and flying in it. The original design for Woodlawn Cemetery was to build it as an arboretum and cemetery. In carrying out the traditions of the German ancestors, they built cemeteries like Woodlawn in much of Germany. They used these resting places for parks and picnic areas as well. Space was at a premium in Germany and so by combining the beauty of a park with that of a cemetery, it became very functional. The German immigrants carried on this tradition here in Winona as well. People today walk, run and bike through the cobblestone and narrow roads leading to the terraced hills of Woodlawn. We as a family like to visit Woodlawn because of the beauty of the trees and shrubs when blossoming in the spring, and also because leprechauns live in the woods that border the cemetery. I quite often roll down the windows of the car and holler out for the king of the leprechauns, “I know your out there Shawnosee, show yourself!” in an Irish accent. Abby and Will then follow with the same calls. Along with calling and looking for the leprechauns, we have also discovered that they are very fast and hard to see. Well, this is always so much fun for us, even Anne gets into the role by telling the kids she hears the leprechauns running by us because of the rustling leaves we hear, the origins, (which will never be revealed) are from the wake of our car. It was such fun, except for one Sunday, while we went through the same routines at Woodlawn, upon entering the cemetery. I hollered out as I always do for Shawnasee the king leprechaun, and we all got excited in anticipating what would happen next. What transpired though was not expected. I hadn’t seen the two ladies walking above us on the terraced hillside. When approaching them, I greeted each lady with a good morning and much to my surprise, they just looked at me as if I were dangerous and/or deranged. I could not figure out why they looked at me the way they had. Then finally they both hesitantly responded with an unsure greeting in reply as they were passing. I looked over at Anne and then realized what had just happened, they must have thought I was hollering out at them or some imaginary foe, either way I do believe they wanted to leave the cemetery very quickly. Either way, the leprechauns did not appear that day. Only a red-faced Daddy appeared to his family. Being children though, they were not fazed by Daddy’s embarrassment. Each child wanted to find either a leprechaun or a fairy that day.
How we need to be children at times. To have their unfathomable faith and belief that the impossible exists and that the unseen is imaginable.