Native Son: Everyday Miracles

Do you believe in miracles? I mean…other than the obvious ones, like surviving a little drive up Hwy 75 in Dallas on any given Friday. I mean little miracles, everyday miracles; those events that do indeed occur in spite of astronomical odds against them. Things that happen for seemingly no reason.

I don’t know about you, but I see them all the time. Every day. Every single day of my life. I am literally swimming in miracles. As a matter of fact, too many to mention in a short article, so I’ll just list:

My Top Ten List of Miracles That Happened This Week

1. I, in fact, did survive a drive up…and down…Hwy 75 in Dallas on a Friday. (Okay, I admit, that was an easy one.)

2. I personally witnessed the driver of a Corvette use a turn signal.

3. I was emotionally transported 45 years and 900 miles back through time and space to a high school crush simply by inhaling the aroma of a roadside Narcissus blossom.

4. The East Texas sky mesmerized me one day, completely captivating my mind and rendering my body useless. More effective than Harry Potter’s Patrificus Totalus spell.

5. I personally witnessed a person in the Walmart parking lot assist an elderly lady who could not find her car. They wandered around for a few minutes, and eventually spotted the car by hitting the wrong button on the key fob, which opened the hatch.

Continued Below

6. A simple whiff of a precocious Mexican plum blossom was enough to evoke a decades-old memory with Mike Shoup, owner of Antique Rose Emporium. I was struggling to describe the fragrance of the Mexican plum flower at his place near Brenham, Texas, when he suggested, “a warm tortilla, fresh out of the oven.” I’m still not sure whether it really smells like that, but it always will to me.

7. I witnessed a grown man make a telephone call on a banana…and I answered it.

8. I saw a patch of resurrection fern (Polypodium polypodioides) covering a limb on an Oak tree in Jefferson, Texas. On the north –shady– side of the limb, the fern was green and lush. On the south –sunny– side, it was shriveled and desiccated. It’s amazing to me that there’s no doubt the recent rain will have brought the shriveled side back to green glory.

9. I got to witness two of my horticultural heroes, Greg Grant and Dave Creech, shoot the bull about trees, shrubs, ecosystems, and administrators. Both were hobbling a bit from various leg issues (not poking fun…I got my own problems), but full of knowledge, humor, perspective, and hope for this world.

10. I witnessed Greg Grant demonstrate the proper way to graze on lawn weeds…in this case, some kind of cress. And yes, I accepted the offer and it was actually really tasty!

Bonus miracle! I recently acquired –for FREE–a small collection of hard, acorn-shaped, organically-created, little ovules. Each of these little ovules contains a stunning amount of genetic coding, a myriad of chemicals, and built-in sensors that detect cold, heat, and the imbibition of dihydrogen monoxide. When a critical mass is detected, a series of chemical reactions occurs which sets into motion a non-reversible process which, given favorable environmental conditions, results in a self-sustaining, sixty foot-tall, oxygenic photosynthesis machine that produces carbohydrates by the incalculable trillions. (A surprising side effect of this process is the release of both pure oxygen and dihydrogen monoxide into the atmosphere.) Over time, each single machine will replicate itself more than a million times, with slight variations that will eventually introduce features that will prove favorable to future machines. Eventually, the machine will fail, but in doing so, will provide sustenance to its progeny, which will replicate the aforementioned series of events again in perpetuity.

I think maybe most people have gotten too accustomed to everyday miracles. It’s kind of like folks in Maine getting used to lobster…or should I say, “Lobstah.” Right now, somewhere up around Bangor, there’s a teenager saying, “Really Mom? Lobster again? Can’t we have some Spamburger Helper?”

Amazing things are happening around us every day, if we open our eyes and hearts to them. What’s your everyday miracle?


Come and visit me at the Longview Arboretum! Bring your friends and family out for a little jaunt and we will make you feel right at home. We are open Wednesday through Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM and Sunday noon to 5 PM during the winter. I’ve got a lot of projects going on so you might find me out in the garden all covered in this glorious red dirt!

I need a road trip! Let me know if you’d like me to come and speak to your group sometime. I’m low maintenance, flexible, and you know I like to go just about anywhere. No city too big; no town to small. Just send me an e-mail at and we’ll work something out.

Posted by Steven Chamblee
Back To Top