I couldn’t tell you a day lily from goldenrod the first spring we lived at our previous home surrounded by fields and woods. A day lily would bloom and would be welcomed like an old friend by my neighbor. The goldenrod was relentlessly hunted and picked and discarded preferably before it could bloom and cause allergy issues.
After a decade of living on that property, I learned to coherently identify many of the plants in the woods. Some I dehydrated for teas and tinctures. My favorite forest path led me by a patch of day lilies. The plants were tucked in a small clearing at the bottom of a shady hill. On warm summer nights deer would lay in the high grass bordering the lilies. I learned to watch for their splash of vibrant color as summer wound along.
Our very first year at that home, we never saw the day lily patch in bloom.
“There are beautiful flowers in the woods where you walk,” said my elderly neighbor one afternoon. “Maybe next year you’ll see them.”
“Oh.” I didn’t understand. This was always the trend when plant-talk happened around me. I wondered silently, should I know about why we wouldn’t see the blooms?
The woods belonged to her and her husband. They had thoughtfully curated those woods like a park for fifty plus years. They knew where the day lilies should bloom.
“So, we won’t see them this year?” I asked casually.
Should I have verbally emphasized “won’t”, or “see”? Which option would have sounded like I knew anything about anything about beautiful hidden flowers in the woods, and, why hadn’t I seen them?
“No.” She paused while browsing a European travel magazine. “Someone mowed over them.”
Ah. That was her polite way of pointing out that my husband, faithfully mowing walking trails up over the hill, had accidentally taken out that year’s perennial growth with the mower. There would be no day lily blossoms in the sheltered clearing. Maybe I would keep this knowledge to myself for a month or two. He had spent hours mowing paths over the hill for me to wander at my leisure. It was my healing place.
Happily, the flowers have bloomed in force every year since. Sometimes they posed for me to take pictures as a way of saying “thanks” for not being taken out by my favorite groundskeeper.
Maybe we’re all a little like the hardy hidden day lilies. Some seasons we are unexpectedly on pause. Circumstances are beyond our control. That doesn’t mean our God-given gifts have been permanently muted. We need to regroup, rest, and trust the Creator’s master plan.
Photo credit: www.sharonoconnor.net
So extraordinary is Nature with her choicest treasures, spending plant beauty as she spends sunshine, pouring it forth into land and sea, garden and desert. And so the beauty of lilies falls on angels and men, bears and squirrels, wolves and sheep, birds and bees.John Muir
Have you ever been on pause? What did God teach you? Provide for you? Prepare you for? What would you tell someone facing their own season of “pause”?
“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”