Here is more of the arid side of Florida. Thorny and spiky, the beauty of the desert rather than the beauty of the tropics.
I loved my hike on the 3½ mile sand trail through the park. I lingered for a long while on the boardwalk near the sign that warned against swimming because there were alligators about – but didn’t see one, much to my disappointment.
Here is barrier life – it thrives in the harsh conditions of heat, wind and hurricanes, but can’t take the pounding of human shoes. The storms hit here first, and the islands absorb much of the ocean’s fury, protecting the mainland, leaving it relatively unscathed.
As I walked, my mind turned to my own storm buffers, fragile but strong. To the faith that I once compared to a dandelion; scrappy and hard to get rid of. To the people who love me anyways – despite knowing all too well about my thorns and spikes. And I gave thanks.