“Stars of Spring”
CrocusesDrawn through snow to sunWrapped in a mantle of leaves,Purple flowers bloom.
ForsythiaLemon drops of gold, Sunburst star-spangled blossoms,Harbingers of spring.
VioletsFragile, drooping headsWith leafy hearts extended,You lead me in praise.
DaffodilsDancing on the breeze, Persevering through spring snows,Joyful in trials.
Rainbowed breath of springYou fill my heart with perfume Like God’s sweet Spirit. (Kathryn W. Armstrong, April 11, 2017) Some of the most beautiful poetry in the world is in the Bible’s Book of Psalms. Here’s one of my favorites, which speaks of spring:
“Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion: and unto thee shall the vow be performed. O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come. Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away. Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple. By terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea: Which by his strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power: Which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people. They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid at thy tokens: thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice. Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it. Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: thou settlest the furrows thereof: thou makest it soft with showers: thou blessest the springing thereof. Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness. They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness: and the little hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing.”
Posted in A Few of my Favorite Flowers, Beauty Around the World, Flower Photos, Gardens, Haikus, Plant Identification
Tagged Beautiful photos of early spring flowers, Forsythia, Haiku and photos of daffodils, Hiakus about spring flowers, Photos and haiku about crocuses, Photos of Hyacinths, Poetry about spring, Psalm 65, Violets
We moved from Michigan’s northern peninsula about 24 years ago, and one of the lingering memories I’ve cherished
is that of northern spring woods carpeted with trillium and wildflowers. Actually, we have a sprinkling of trillium in my backyard, but nothing like the gauze of white that drapes the hillsides near Fayette in the Upper Peninsula, so I’ve harbored a pensive ambition to return some spring just to feast my eyes on the wildflowers that bloom there. Therefore, I could hardly believe my eyes after church last Sunday when some friends showed me photos of the woods filled with trillium at Aman Park, which is just off Lake Michigan Dr. only about 10 miles east of downtown GR.In all the years we’ve lived here, I’d never stopped by to check out this park! Talk about a deplorable lack of curiosity! (Well, I’d been curious a few times, but never enough to do anything about it!) Susan and I decided to go hiking there.It was S.O. beautiful! The little ridges of the woods seemed sprinkled with frost. Not only are the trillium in bloom, there are wonderful patches of Virginia bluebells and delicate hepatica, wild phlox, vinca minor, and violets. If you live in the area, love wildflowers, and have a couple of hours free in the next few days, consider visiting. It’s free. 🙂But, take a photo of the map on your cell phone for reference, because the trails are very poorly marked. The red (“Interpretative Trail” aka “B”) is only 1.5 miles long but gives you a wonderful experience of peaceful trails through mazes of flowers. I laughed with joy, but I also laughed at myself. In 24 years, I’d longed to drive hundreds of miles north (which I never did) rather than figuring out if there were any woods filled with trillium right here! I wonder, is there anything you’re missing and wishing for from days gone by? You might not be able to find exactly the same thing where you are,
but how about doing a little research? Perhaps like me, you’ll find some unexpected and wonderful opportunities
very close to home. In fact, it may be that heaven is closer than you think.“Whom have I in heaven but thee?
and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee” (Psalm 73:25).
(All these photos were taken on April 24, 2017 at Aman Park. If you miss it this year but want to try next year, they seem to bloom about the time the daffodils have peaked and the tulips are starting to bloom, which I’m guessing would be true anywhere trillium grows. Look online…you might have woodlands filled with wildflowers wherever you are!)
Posted in Activities in the Greater Grand Rapids Area, Encouragements for Living, Flower Photos, Michigan Beauty and Fun, Nature Studies, Parks, Plant Identification
Tagged Aman Park, Photographs of trillium, Photos of hepatica, Photos of Virginia bluebells, Psalm 73:25, Spring wildflowers in northern America, What do trillium look like and when do they bloom?, When you miss something you loved see if you can find a replacement
What else can I do beyond praying for the healing of this broken world?
While in Tunisia, I was struck more deeply by the significance of the admonition “Bloom where you’re planted” as I observed the ubiquitous cacti. I don’t usually think of cacti as something that blooms
or is even intentionally planted, but in Tunisia, cacti are planted in long rows to form hedges around crops. They are planted in gardens and used to adorn courtyards.I suppose this is largely because they can survive drought
when most other plants would die out. Now, you might argue that most of the world’s cacti (and perhaps most of the world’s plants and people) aren’t “planted” but rather grow wild …and if we’re a cactus,
we can hardly be expected to bloom in a barren wilderness! I beg to differ. I believe that those of us who appear to be wild varieties
have still been planted by God, based on David’s testimony that God was leading him no matter where he went, be it heaven or hell (Psalm 139:7-10).After staring listlessly out the window at nothingness for hours on end,
I would say that the wilderness of Tunisia fits on that continuum…possibly near the end. Furthermore, I believe we are all encouraged to bloom,
regardless of our circumstances. On my trip, seeing a cactus punctuate the landscape gave me singular delight, and when I found some that were actually blooming, I was all agog! So, even when we’re feeling as prickly as a cactus living in a desolate wasteland, let’s try to bloom. We might be one of the only plants tough enough to survive in such trying circumstances, and our little blossoms will doubtless bring joy
and encouragement to others. “Let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.”
(1 Corinthians 7:24)
Posted in A Few of my Favorite Flowers, Encouragements for Living, Flower Photos, Inspiration, Lessons from the Desert, Meditations and reflections, Nature Studies, Plant Identification, Travels Around the World
Tagged 1 Corinthians 7:24, Bloom Where You're Planted, Goat herder, Images of Cactus Plants, Learning contentment in abiding with God, Psalm 139:7-10, Shepherd with flock in wilderness, Tunisian wilderness