A Part and Its Whole

A single flower of the longleaf milkweed (Asclepias longifolia)

One of the less obvious delights of spring is the variety of milkweeds hidden away in grasslands and prairies. During a recent visit to my favorite nameless hayfield, I found green milkweed (A. viridis), slim milkweed (A. linearis), and an explosion of longleaf milkweeds, which look for all the world like vegetative fireworks.

Although quite different in structure from a daisy or rose, milkweed flowers provide a rich source of nectar and pollen for a variety of insects, especially native bees. For humans, they provide an unending source of visual delight.

The single flower shown above, in its larger context

 

Comments always are welcome.

 

Blessing The Dust

“what has made it through the burning”

 

All those days
you felt like dust,
as if all you had to do
was turn your face
toward the wind
and be scattered
to the four corners
or swept away
by the smallest breath
as insubstantial—
Did you not know
what the Holy One
can do with dust?
This is the day
we freely say
we are scorched.
This is the hour
we are marked
by what has made it
through the burning.
This is the moment
we ask for the blessing
that lives within
the ancient ashes,
that makes its home
inside the soil of
this sacred earth.
So let us be marked
not for sorrow.
And let us be marked
not for shame.
Let us be marked
not for false humility
nor for thinking
we are less
than we are,
but for claiming
what God can do
within the dust,
within the dirt,
within the stuff
of which the world
is made,
and the stars that blaze
in our bones,
and the galaxies that spiral
inside the smudge
we bear.
                                                               “Blessing the Dust”  ~  Jan Richardson

 

Comments always are welcome.

Lewis And Clark Send A Memo

prairie fire

 

We set sail under a gentle breeze from the S.E. At seven miles, passed a white clay marl or chalk bluff. Under this bluff, which is extensive, I discovered large stone much like lime, encrusted with a clear substance which I believe to be cobalt, also ore is embedded in the dark earth resembling slate, but much softer.
Above this bluff, we had the prairie set on fire to let the Sioux see that we were on the river, and as a signal for them to come to it.
                                                                                        Captain William Clark ~ 27 August, 1804

 

Comments always are welcome.