Updated: Nov 2, 2022
Douglas Aster. It can grow to 3 feet tall with 1-inch-broad rosy-purple blossoms.
Tufted Fleabane. A 6-inch high beauty with feathery bunches of flowers with creamy white ligules.
Mountain Aster. A small, compact plant with lavender, bluish, or white flower-heads.
Alpine Forget-Me-Not. Tiny bright blue flowers with yellow centers cluster on 10-inch stems.
Arctic Lupine. 2-foot tall stems topped with dark blue, showy flowers. Pods contain poisonous seeds.
Mountain Avens. Mat-forming perennials in the rose family with creamy white blossoms.
Moss Campion. Tight, moss-like cushions with bright rose-colored flowers pressed flat over rocks.
Elegant Poison Camas. Open, symmetrical racemes bearing creamy-white flowers on 16-inch stems.
It was a hot, July day as I clambered toward the summit 6,400’ Sheep Mountain in the Saint Elias Mountains in Kluane National Park, Yukon, Territory Canada. Subalpine meadows were carpeted – I mean, literally, carpeted – with a riot of multi-colored wildflowers as far as the eye could see. It appeared as if a rainbow had been poured onto the mountainside. With trusty Wildflowers of the Yukon handbook in hand, at one point I spent the better part of an hour on hands and knees identifying as many of the blossoming beauties as I could. The eight species listed above are just some of them.
That was one of the deepest prayer experiences I have ever had. Each flower was a prayer. Each of the multitudinous butterflies feasting on the unlimited nectar-filled blooms was a prayer. Each sky-sailing Mountain Bluebird was a prayer. Each Arctic Ground Squirrel (chirping warnings of approaching grizzly bears) was a prayer. 50-mile-long, aquamarine Kluane Lake 4000 feet below the cliff on which I ate lunch was a prayer. Life – glorious life all around me – was a prayer.
Prayer, for me, is not imploring some supposed divine being to make something happen or not happen. Prayer is appreciating life in all its fullness . . . affirming its goodness by living lives of love and grace. And acting out the fervent belief that the life of security and enough that I thankfully experience is for everybody.