“You are like a chestnut burr, prickly outside,
but silky-soft within, and a sweet kernel,
if one can only get at it. Love will make you show your heart some day,
and then the rough burr will fall off.”
Louisa May Alcott
(a thistle prepares to bloom / Julie Cook / 2020)
Thistles, to me, are most alluring.
To Eeyore, they are a tasty ‘smakeral’ or so Pooh would observe.
They begin, in the early spring, as a spikey mass or clump, of uninviting serrated leaves
emerging oddly from the ground.
Trust me, don’t use bare hands in an attempt to pull them up in order to rid your space
of this most unwanted visitor.
They will eventually send forth one, or even several, shoots sporting a purplish fringed bulb.
As this odd bulb unfurls its full glory, the bloom is almost regal in a crown-like
explosion of texture.
(a thistle crown / Julie Cook / 2020)
And like all earthly glories, these odd blooming weeds eventually fade, turning themselves
back to seed.
(a field of thistles gone to seed /Julie Cook / 2020)
And yet the fact that these plants are considered useless and invasive and even noxious
weeds, there is a beauty found in their blooming and a bit of
respect found in their tenacity.
Saturday I was reading Kathy’s post over on atimetoshare.me —
Kathy was offering some waxing thoughts regarding our world’s current pandemic situation.
I found one passage most enlightening…
Our current younger generation are those who will not experience the pageantry of
a real graduation – those who will not go to their Senior prom –
those who have been through the good, the bad and now the ugly –
those who will be running our country in the next few years.
These unique young people will become a generation of problem solvers,
creative thinkers, money managers, inventive and innovative thinkers all because
their world was turned upside down by a little germ.
They will be the second greatest generation, because they have experienced plenty or at least enough.
They have been on the cutting edge of technology.
They have seen their nation at its worst and at its best.
Kathy noted that this current class of seniors, be it high school or college, are presently
experiencing a great many firsts in the way of loss.
Losses of certain rights of passage.
No Spring sports.
No state championships.
No Spring breaks.
No year-end award ceremonies.
No senior days.
No graduation trips.
Only a seemingly unending sense of loss, isolation with more questions than answers.
And yet Kathy notes that this will be the group to become our next class of problem solvers.
They will be our newest innovators and creative thinkers…in part because
such a role and responsibility has been thrust upon them.
They have been handed a mantle of burden and responsibility despite not necessarily seeing
such coming their way.
And it is perhaps not truly a burden they have wanted…but they have been handed such nonetheless.
And so in this time of surreal losses and misses, there is a generation
that will have to rise to the occasion of problem-solving.
They have the tools at their fingertips as a pandemic has now spurred them on–
be it out of frustration, resentment, or simple curiosity…
hope now rests in the beauty of a blooming generation…
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,
plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Thank you, my friend. God has a plan❤️
The thistle is the national flower of Scotland. The reason for this, in a land where the landscape is breath-taking with fields of heather, is, in a way, military. Back in the day when everyone wore a kilt of one kind or another, Scotland was plagued by raids from Vikings. The Vikings would prepare for a dawn raid. As they attacked from the top of the hill into the village below, they would unsuspectingly travel through thistle. The spikes of the thistle would bite into legs and other things. This became the warning siren, their screams of pain, and the villagers awakened and drove the Vikings back to their ships.
As a true scot- I have an affinity for all things thistle— our thistles are a different variety than the thistles in Ireland and Scotland— ours are a farmer’s bane— I took lots of pictures of the thistles in Ireland but they weren’t as pretty as ours!
I appreciate this perspective for sure! I also think it’s funny that I wrote about weeks – there are so many pretty weeds in my area. Ha!
You know what they say— one man’s weed is another man’s flower 🌸☺️