Thursday, April 05, 2007

The healing power of violets

I love wildflowers. I love them for their special, unique beauty that a neatly trimmed flower-bed can never duplicate. I love the way that each flower has its own season in which to bloom and flourish, whether it is the summer sunflower or the winter gentian. I love the way they sing, raw and unrefined, like the folklorists of the earth.

The season of violets is just coming to a close--they first began appearing in February and lasted through the chilly season, and now are yielding to the spring bloomers--dandelions, wisteria, and others. But violets have a special meaning to me...

Here, I will share with you an excerpt from a narrative I wrote about a time in my life when I was truly depressed, and how God used the world around me to lift me out of the pit I was in. I hope you enjoy it.

* * * * * * *

True friends walk with you through the low places in your life. Friends I didn’t know I had were the friends who saw me through depression, encouraged me to continue holding onto what I had, faithfully believing that everything would take a turn for me if I allowed it to happen. And so I held on and on, and learned to lean on them for strength.

Sharon knew I loved wildflowers. Their beauty sometimes gave me peace, their fragility sometimes made me feel not so alone. I was at her house one Saturday afternoon early that spring; I sat on the swing in her backyard, staring at the ground beneath me where various feet skidding against the ground to halt the swing had worn a bare spot in the earth. The dirt was black and spongy.

“Laura, look! Wild violets!” I looked up and saw Sharon kneeling in the grass across the yard. I dropped from the swing and walked over. She knelt before a deep green patch that had looked like grass from farther away, but as I knelt down beside her I saw the deep violet-blue flowers whose tiny heads emerged from the greenery. I smiled as I studied their form—they were like newborns, with soft and pliable faces. The markings on the petals looked like eyes squeezed shut, too sensitive to the sunlight; they turned away to face the soft green below them.

I stretched out my body and lay flat on my stomach, my face next to the violet patch. Resting my cheek on the ground beside them I could feel the feathery leaves tickle my skin. I saw the flowers eye-to-eye now, the firstborn of spring, and for several minutes I lay there with them.

Sharon stood up to leave me alone with the flowers. As she did, I propped up on my elbows and turned to her, smiling. “I’ve never seen violets before…” Then I got to my feet and walked away with her, leaving the young flowers to nap placidly in the gentle afternoon light.

From "Time to Weep, Time to Heal"
March 2006

1 comment:

KleoPatra said...

So gorgeous... and a great, thoughtful post, Laura. G-d really does work in the most beautiful, subtle ways. Thank you for sharing this. Wishing you a Happy Easter!