by Ami Hendrickson
I know how to be humbled, and I know also how to abound. In everything and in all things I have learned the secret both to be filled and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in need. I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
Ynes lay where she had fallen. Her hand ached. Breathing hurt. She knew she had broken some ribs. She berated herself for falling. Here she was, a woman in her mid-fifties, out here in the wilderness with the Roxana Ferris, one of the world’s leading botanists. Now, less than halfway through their plant-collecting expedition, she had gone and fallen off a cliff.
Ynes Mexia was no stranger to either riding high or falling low. Born in 1870, her life was full of ups and downs. She grew up with wealth, status, and privilege. When she was quite young, both her parents died, leaving her heir to a sizeable estate, which she managed well.
Widowed in her 30s, she remarried – a disastrous mistake that left her psychologically scarred, suffering from extreme emotional trauma for over ten years.
In her 50s, she discovered a love for botany. This launched a passion that took her from the wilds of Alaska to the Amazon and lasted until the end of her life.
Ynes became one of the most skilled plant collectors in the world, collecting over 150,000 specimens. Many of them were new to science, including one that bears her name: the mimosa mexiae, a plant she found on that first, ill-fated trip.
Thank you for loving me in my ups and my downs.
Help me to remember that You are the only constant in my life.