There are seasons within each season, just as there are stages in every human life. The heart of summer that we are now in is the season of tall flowers. We have been progressing to this point since April. That’s when the little wood anemones and violets quickly gave way to bloodroot and trout lilies. Those soon gave way to the likes of wild geraniums and trilliums. Then the wild roses shared their soft pink flowers and even softer perfume. These early flowers many times had to be sought out as they were easily hidden from view by grasses.
But now in full season the colors stretch to the “canopy” of the ditches, meadows and fallow fields. Chicory and Queen Anne’s Lace line the country roadsides along with the primroses that have begun to bloom. Purple and yellow coneflowers, black eyed Susan, thistles in full plume, yellow Goats Beard all sway in the fresh and stirring morning breezes. Only the towering mullein with its spike of yellow flowers stands stiff and motionless. The flowers look peace-loving enough, but they are all doing their best to crowd out and outreach the competition. Heartier than the early bloomers that only flowered for a week or two, many of these flowers will bloom for most of the rest of summer, through the worst of the heat and dry periods.
An early morning walk alongside the nearby area now managed for wetland drainage testifies to the heights that the flowers have reached. I can hear dozens of Carolina Wrens singing back and forth to each other but the tall and thick vegetation hides them from view. It sounds like the flowers themselves are providing the music to accompany their early morning dance in the stirring breeze. Finally, one little wren, all puffed up to shake off the heavy morning dew, flits up to a foothold on a taller plant and so confirms for me that the song is of the feathered and not the petalled variety.
Perhaps there are some lessons in the determination and tenacity and patience of the full season tall flowers. But one would be prone to exaggeration if you try to force too much deep meaning here. I think that it is enough to be aware that their presence heralds another season within the summer season. We should note their beauty, a blessing to the eye and heart. Because even though they are tall - standing and relatively long-lasting, their season too is, in reality, quite short. And so, the most important lesson in the tall flowers may be that it is wise to look and enjoy them now, because now is what we have.
Let’s be grateful.
His Peace,Deacon Dan