Freedom Litmus


Litmus strips—remember them? Those tests we used in chemistry class to determine the pH of solutions? Infused with a dye made from lichens, the paper turned red if the liquid was acid; blue, if alkaline. If the solution was balanced, purple.

Extreme pH causes problems. For example, in swimming pools with high alkalinity, bad bugs can run rampant, while a highly acidic pool can burn the skin.

Sound familiar?

Lately I’ve been imagining a litmus test of a different sort. One that would intercept sound waves from media and from conversations and shouts. A test strip I could press against written words. Litmus paper that would change according to the slant of incomplete or flawed information infusing it.

Freedom Litmus: A test that would help me determine how far each source skews truth.

Because if I had such a test, I could find purple.

If only.

One thing’s certain.

Very few of us are swimming in balanced input.

Even though we think we are.

Maybe today, Independence Day, could be the start of a new pH for each of us.

Maybe we could ask ourselves, and each other, this:

If neither side could reach balance—purple—without the other, how would we blend our solutions?


Here fungus feeds on the carbon found in a dead redwood tree—a one-sided interaction. The fungus takes nourishment, but gives nothing back to the tree.

Lichens, however (like those used in litmus tests), form out of fungi and algae working together symbiotically, each for the other’s mutual benefit.


“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

—Philippians 2:4



Gull and Squadron.
Pelicans riding thermals—and an imitator.


“For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you . . .”

—2 Thessalonians 3:7



Surface wounds.
(Charred redwoods, still standing.)


“I will be with you. . . When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”

—Isaiah 43:2 NLT



Wrong size.
“You took off your former way of life, the old self . . .”

—Ephesians 4:22



Petal waves.

You, God,

“. . . who stilled the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
and the turmoil of the nations.”

—Psalm 65:7


Treasuring freedom with you today, friends.

Posted by

Love the outdoors? I can take you there. Rural & wild PNW posts and photos from a naturalist, faith writer, and author of three books, including the award-winning novel Sugar Birds. Member of Redbud Writers Guild.

8 thoughts on “Freedom Litmus

  1. Cheryl. Today’s post was so reflective & REFRESHING. What a great insight. Thank you for showing your heart ( so beautiful) and your mind. Thank you for always pointing us toward our Heavenly Father. Onl He can make us the balanced litmus be purple. Happy Independence Day ! May God bless you & your Family. Love, Joanne Eytzen ❤️🙏🏼🇺🇸❣️😇

    Sent from Joanne’s IPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  2. If Only The Truth Were Reported!
    Thank You Cheryl For Also Reminding Us Of Or Country s Birthday! I continue To Pray That God Will Protect Our Country From The Enemies Within.

    Liked by 1 person

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