wild prairie crocus
deep in its furry coat
I still remember seeing some of these in pastures when I was a girl. Sad to say, the neat little crocus that once bloomed all across the prairies in early spring have been pretty much eradicated by the farmers’ plows.
In honour of National Poetry Month, I’m posting this verse from a Canadian writer of long ago. Lucy Maud Montgomery, who wrote the Anne series, starting with Anne of Green Gables, turned her hand to poetry as well.
The Garden in Winter
by L.M. Montgomery
Frosty-white and cold it lies
Underneath the fretful skies;
Snowflakes flutter where the red
Banners of the poppies spread,
And the drifts are wide and deep
Where the lilies fell asleep.
But the sunsets o’er it throw
Flame-like splendor, lucent glow,
And the moonshine makes it gleam
Like a wonderland of dream,
And the sharp winds all the day
Pipe and whistle shrilly gay.
Safe beneath the snowdrifts lie
Rainbow buds of by-and-by;
In the long, sweet days of spring
Music of bluebells shall ring,
And its faintly golden cup
Many a primrose will hold up.
Though the winds are keen and chill
Roses’ hearts are beating still,
And the garden tranquilly
Dreams of happy hours to be―
In the summer days of blue
All its dreamings will come true.
Freedom comes when we stop looking through the lens
of what we wish we were
or how we want others to see us.
We can admit what we really are,
what we need to improve
and what we need to accept about ourselves.
Instead of drooping because of all the things we’re not,
we can bloom as we alone were meant to.
We’ve reached that time of year when our outdoor flowers are looking rather weary. The petunias in my planters haven’t frozen yet, but the sensitive marigolds around the edges wilted at the first hint of frost. Their brittle leaves don’t add much to the esthetics anymore.
I know we’ll have to start pulling up and tossing soon, but we’ve enjoyed the colorful display this summer and I was happy to learn one evening that we were sharing. At dusk I was standing on the deck when I noticed a hummingbird moth in the petunias, zipping from bloom too bloom, enjoying the sweetness of my flowers. I’ve seen it half a dozen times since — one evening I saw a smaller version, too.
Thinking of sharing good things, I found this little story somewhere and will share it with you, hoping this thought will inspire you, too, this morning.
A lady who was a great lover of flowers had set out a rare vine at the base of a stone wall. It grew vigorously, yet she saw no blooms. Day after day she cultivated and watered it to coax it into bloom. One morning as she stood disappointedly before it, her invalid neighbour whose back lot adjoined hers, called over and said, “You can’t imagine how much I have been enjoying the blooms of what you planted!” The lady who owned the plant looked, and on the other side of the wall was a mass of blooms. The vine had crept through the crevices and flowered luxuriantly on the other side. So often we think our efforts are thrown away because we do not see their fruits. We need to learn that in the service of God our prayers, our toils, and our crosses are never in vain. Somewhere they bear fruit, and hearts will receive blessings and joy from our efforts.
In Matthew 6:25-30, Jesus taught his disciples not to be overly wrapped up with concern about their daily needs, because God is watching over them and knows what they need. He never said they could just loaf around and everything would be provided, but constant preoccupation with needs is a menace to a person’s mind and spirit.
I’ve written these verses in my own words for anyone who’s interested:
Don’t obsess over the things of this life, like what you’re going to eat or what you’re going to wear. Your life is about more than food and clothes.
Take a look at the birds: they don’t spend a lot of time laying up food supplies, thinking of deprivations that might lie ahead. But God, Who sees all things that go on in this world, knows they need food and provides for them in whatever season. And you people are so much more precious to him than birds. Trust him.
Tell me, can any of you, by worry or scheming, grow a few inches taller? And why spend a lot of time dithering over what you should wear. Consider the lilies, they can’t buy nor sew nor weave, but God has provided them with such intricate attire that even Solomon, with all the glory his riches could buy, couldn’t hold a candle to their beauty.
So if your Father in heaven has provided so well for insignificant wild flowers and the grass that grows in the field for a season, then is gathered and used as fuel, how much more can He look after your needs. Have more faith.
Those who haven’t learned to know him will chase after these things, but you should rather focus your attention on matters of the soul and trust your Father to look after the other.