A prickly pitch pinecone has fallen and landed pointing straight up. It has weathered to a whitish color where exposed to the elements and has long since opened up to release its seeds. It has fulfilled its purpose, and there is no further reason for it to be here.
|The perfect spiral, again.|
Except that there is. The ugly pitch pine tree (and if you have ever seen one, you know exactly what I mean) has produced thousands of pinecones with razor-sharp thorns jutting out of them. I do not advise that you ever pick one up without a glove. This gnarled, twisted, and crooked tree with inch-thick slabs of scaly bark often hanging from it--this extremely homely tree with needles that twist upward and lower limbs that are always dead--never lets go and never gives up.
And somehow--somehow!--this prickly pinecone sits in the forest with the most perfect distribution of woody petals traveling around in a harmonious spiral, which only the Great Alchemist could have created. It’s madness. It’s sheer madness that a tree of such humble qualities and poor birthright could produce a flower (for that’s what a pinecone is) so stunning and so utterly unnoticed. It’s madness to know that I walk among royalty in the woods every day and I am often too blind to see it.
I don’t dare to pick it up because I know it will draw blood. There is no way to gather a pitch pinecone. So I leave it where I see it, knowing that no one else will ever see it. I am grateful to have been shown this secret beauty today, grateful to be shown, once again, the magical spiral of life. In a world filled with tinsel and gaudy displays and plastic money, the ugly pitch pine tree and its lethal pinecone are treasures beyond all measure. I am wealthy beyond my wildest dreams.