Finding jewels


Every morning, before we get down to the business of farm chores or work or breakfast, Charlie and I take a walk.

It's short and slow (because that's what he needs these days), but it's usually a nice way to frame the day for us both. Charlie will only drink from the creek (a strange side-effect of being sick for so long), so we head there together three times a day in an effort to keep him moving and hydrated.


And for the most part I truly love this new rhythm.

It's quiet and peaceful and gets me moving shortly after I wake. But there are also days when it's so hot and humid that I'm soaked through before we make it to the creek. And I've been home alone for just over a week, so when I get back to the house all of the farm chores fall to me. Which is a lot.


And so this morning I was preoccupied.

It would be my last day of doing morning chores alone before my family finally returns from their ill-fated journey up north. (They left for what was meant to be a four- or five-day trip, but ended up having significant car troubles and were stranded up north for over 10 days.) Add to their absence the fact that we had a small flood two days ago; that Charlie has been seeming sicker again; that we have a costly car repair to pay for; and that another flood is on its way tonight and my heart wasn't in our walk this morning.

I was in my head, not in my body. I was thinking about my to-do list, not our path to the creek.

Just general fretting, I suppose. At which I am a master. (Not to brag, but, yeah. A master.)


And as Charlie drank I finally looked up.

I glanced alongside the creek where our trail winds down to the water, and I noticed a string of jewels hanging from a web. Dew drops – mist from our daily morning shroud – hanging delicately before my eyes. 

And it took my breath away.

I didn't expect to find something so lovely on a day like this. So busy with worry was I, that I forgot for a moment the beauty that surrounds me. 


I looked further down the creek and realized that they were everywhere. Jeweled webs and spider silk everywhere I looked. It was magical. 

I turned and looked back at the way we had just come, and sure enough, lining our entire path was a series of masterpieces I had walked by (and likely through) and never seen. 








And I realized then how fleeting this fragile beauty is. One gust of wind, or a few more moments in the hot sun and their beauty would be lost. Is that impermanence part of what makes them so splendid? Maybe so.

And to think – they were there all along. I only had to step out of myself for a moment to notice. 



Back at the house now, the rain has begun again.

Those fragile webs are gone, for now. And I'm grateful that I noticed them while they were here. 


And tomorrow? Tomorrow there will be more beauty to discover.

If only I remember to put down my troubles and look. 



5 thoughts on “Finding jewels

  1. Krissy says:

    Perhaps have Charlie checked for the various tick diseases. We used to live in Northern Minnesota and our dog had caught anaplasmosis. In heavy tick areas I learned you have to test frequently. Those nasty disease causing ticks!

    Take care and have a great summer!

  2. Rachel Wolf says:

    Hi Krissy,

    Thanks for your note. You are spot on that it is anaplasmosis. He has kidney failure caused by it and thats the cause of his illness. Weve been treating it since April. The anaplasmosis is gone, but the kidney disease remains. 

    Thanks for you good thoughts! 


  3. Shana says:

    Hi Rachel,

    Isn’t it a wonderful gift, to be given that habit of noticing those small and wondrous treasures of nature? I love taking a walk myself and discovering such things – a feather on the ground, a bee going about her business on a cluster of buckwheat, or simply the sound of the wind in the trees above me. Moments like this are stored in your heart, and I am glad for you to share them with Charlie. He sounds like a true friend and a very good boy 🙂

    And if I may, I just want to say thank you so much for your words and the beautiful photographs that accompany them. Your blog is a respite for me; especially on days like today…so thank you, again, from the bottom of my heart. I am so glad you’re here and I hope you are having a lovely weekend.



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