When the grandchildren come to my home they like to pick berries and flowers. I name the various berries and tell them a little about them. We talk about which berries are safe to eat.
The flowers have names too. The granddaughters have enjoyed picking stalks of flowers— tiny white stars covering a stem that is shaped like a shepherd’s crook—from the front of my yard. This plant has a funny name, gooseneck loosestrife. I bought this plant as a perennial and had no idea how aggressively it would spread. I have to set boundaries and uproot it when it wanders, kind of like a shepherd managing his sheep.
I encourage the girls to look at the herbs in my herb garden. A few days ago we all munched on a leaf from chocolate mint, giving opinions about the flavor.
This is my opportunity to share a love of nature, enjoying the world God has created. Together we delight in the bright flavor of a currant berry or raspberry. We see a new flower with wonder. As a grandparent (and retired nurse) I feel blessed in having this time–finding it easier to pause to see than when my children were little.
What a desolate place would be a world without flowers? It would be a face without a smile; a feast without welcome.—Are not flowers the stars of earth?—And are not our stars the flowers of heaven? Clara Lucas Balfour (1808 – 1878)
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; Praise him in the heights! Praise him sun and moon, Praise him all you shining stars! Let them praise the name of the Lord! For he commanded and they were created.
Psalm 148: 1, 3, 5