374. Flowers really do intoxicate me. ~Vita Sackville-West

Flowers have spoken to me
more than I can tell in written words.
They are the hieroglyphics of angels,
loved by all men
for the beauty of their character,
though few can decipher
even fragments of their meaning.
~Lydia M. Child

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Like Sackville-West, “flowers really do intoxicate me” but none more than Poppies and Larkspur. However, until several years ago I’d not had any success in growing either of those two. Luckily, one day at the book store another gardener revealed that the trick here in north-central Texas is to sow the seeds of both in the fall. So I took her advice and the following autumn I threw poppy and larkspur seeds in several flower beds around the yard. Et voilà, much to my amazement, up they sprouted! After the Larkspur germinated, the seedlings grew into fluffy little green mounds that looked way too diminutive and delicate to survive winter’s upcoming, bitter assaults, but that they did. Then as Spring approached and days lengthened and warmed again, the seedlings produced upward growing center stalks, the stands of which my husband referred to as little forests for indeed that’s exactly what they looked like. Then some time after they’d begun their upward advance, he ran in excitedly to tell me that one of my little “trees” had flowers opening on it. And soon all the little” forests” exploded into spiky seas of luscious colors; so inviting was the “beauty of their character,” that I visited them daily as did the swallowtail butterflies and the bumblebees. The bees and butterflies were going for the tasty nectar and I to gaze in amazement at the long-yearned-for new additions to my garden. Although new in my yard, they were hardly new to the world for I’d found out over the winter that the stately Larkspur has existed for thousands of years. I also learned that at some point in time they were given the name Larkspur because one of their petal-like sepals elongates into a spur resembling the spur of a lark’s back toe. Might that too be the hieroglyph of an angel?

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Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights above. Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly hosts. Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars. ~Psalm 148:1-3 ✝

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Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace!

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136. The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others. ~Saint John Chrysostom

His Labor is a Chant–
his idleness–a Tune–
oh, for a Bee’s experience
of Clovers, and of Noon!
~Emily Dickinson

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Honey bees and bumblebees, it seems, find a flower’s countenance as irresistible as I, and that “irresistibility” is of holy intent.  In the passage of Scripture that follows, we see that the Lord’s plan involved an interconnectedness of all life as well as a dependency, one on the other.  The poet, Kahlil Gibran, explains that connectedness in this way: “a flower is a fountain of life” for the bee, and to the bee and flower “the giving and receiving is a need and an ecstasy.”  But wait, how is any of this relevant in the 21st century?  In the age of incredible and still advancing technology should anyone care about flowers and bees?  Indeed all of us should care because bees are absolutely essential pollinators, and sadly there are now alarming reports which indicate that one fourth of the northern hemisphere’s honeybee population mysteriously vanished by the spring of 2007.  Then by the end of 2008, one in three hives was left lifeless.  Simply put, the honeybee is disappearing at an alarming rate across the entire globe.  The worst part is that those in the know are not sure why this is happening, but they do know that should the increasing catastrophe not be addressed and solutions to the problem not found, the complete loss of honeybees as pollinators would mean the end of agriculture as we know it.  Since much of what we wear and one third of what we eat depends on the pollinating activity of honeybees, our way of life and civilization would be threatened.  In fact one report said the situation is so dire that mankind would survive only 4 years after the complete collapse of the honeybee population.

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.  And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.”  And it was so.  ~Genesis 1:29-30   ✝