Reflecting On Nature

This morning my attention was caught by a clump of Solomon’s Seal in our front garden. This wild flower is a beauty, lithe and flexible.  Perfect white bells hang in pairs from arching stems. A dear friend, wise in plant lore, once told me how to differentiate between True Solomon’s Seal and False Solomon’s Seal (commonly known as Spikenard). False Solomon’s Seal produces a feathery tuft of white blossoms at its stem tips, rather than the cuplike bells that bloom at leaf junctures of the True. Another difference is seen in the fall. Spikenard’s fruit is purplish or red and weighs the branches to the ground, while the fruit of True Solomon’s Seal remains green, rather like peas in size and appearance.

Thinking of these plants brings to mind how we can be fooled by false values masquerading as something they’re not, and whether we can tell the difference.  Surely some measurement should exist to help in this business of sorting truth from falsehood. The Bible says: By their fruits ye shall know them. Unfortunately the results of our actions and beliefs are not so easily identified. What thoughts do you have on this subject?

Published in: on May 21, 2011 at 5:08 pm  Comments (10)  
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Remembering Mama

When I remember mama, I think of music, poetry, modesty, and good language. An early memory is sitting on her lap waiting to take the last sip of tea from her pretty china cup. Another is trying to keep up with her as we trekked to town. My brother and I firmly believed she could win any walking race ever invented.

Because mama had been trained as a classical singer at the University at Tomsk in Siberia, she made music a part of our lives. Singing and playing the piano was a favorite evening entertainment. Once she told of singing at a benefit concert where the great pianist Paderewski performed. Her thrill came when he complimented her, saying, “You have a lovely voice.”

Less glamorously, I remember mama’s hands.  They weren’t the long, slim hands you’d immediately associate with an artist.  They were square, hard-working, passionate hands that could put in a garden, scrub clothes on a washboard, or soothe a sick child’s fever. That touch, even when I was a mother myself, eased every ache and pain. Her unconditional love has provided a firm foundation for every dream pursued, every dream realized.  Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

Published in: on May 8, 2011 at 5:00 am  Comments (8)