This year in my gardening adventures I have discovered the daisy. Normally I look for flowers with bright colors and lush green leaves that fill up a space and draw the eye so I am not real sure how I stumbled upon them but I planted about a dozen little bunches of them in various flower beds.
They are actually considered a composite flower which means that the cheery yellow center (a disc floret) is a flower in itself apart from the white petals ( a ray floret) which is considered its own flower. Because the two combine so well as to seemingly be a single flower the daisy is oftentimes seen as a symbol for true love. They can also symbolize innocence and purity.
Because the white petals close up each night and reopen in the morning daisies were often referred to as the “day’s eye” in Old English and it is the origin of our phrase “fresh as a daisy.” Tradition has it that in the 1800’s the phrase “ups-a-daisy” was coined as a way to encourage children to hop up when they fell down because daisies are such prolific growers and are difficult to get rid of even after mowing.
Daisies are also edible with the leaves and petals being used in everything from salads to sandwiches. They’re also considered to have astringent properties and can be used for medicinal purposes. Wild daisies have been brewed in teas to treat coughs and bronchitis for hundreds of years.
What I have discovered is that these little unassuming flowers offer a steadfast quiet beauty. They’re not flashy. In my mind if they were a person they’d be the one that is self assured and goes about their business just being who they are and doing what they do simply because that is who they are and what they do.
I turned fifty this year. I am not sure what it actually feels like to be grown up beyond the somewhat sudden onset of odd aches and pains that remind me I have gotten older but I have decided I want to be a daisy in my old age. It endures with patience and without resentment and that seems to me to be a good thing to strive for. A sort of floral expression of meekness in the right biblical sense if I can be so fanciful about it.
The scientific name for the common daisy is bellis perennis which comes from the latin words for pretty and everlasting and calls to my mind the idea of of that gentle and quiet spirit that we’re told is beautiful in the sight of God. The kind of beauty that doesn’t fade because it really isn’t about the outside as much as it is the inside showing up in a way that displays contentment and settledness.
In all seriousness, albeit a whimsical way to think of it, this idea dovetailed with my pondering on the verses from Ephesians that I posted yesterday. Specifically verse 29 and how it relates to my speech imparting grace to the hearer. Oh, how I want my words to give grace more than proving my skillful sarcastic wit or disdain for what may very well be an inferior position.
If we are a people who live by the Word, by His words, then I think our speech is a garden of daisies with the composite blooms of life and healing. His words should shape our thinking. His words should shape our words so that we speak His words. Steadfast and quiet yet full of grace. Not big or flashy but patient, adorning our conversation and bringing relief from the sting of the world.
“Daisies infinite uplift in praise their little growing hand o’er every hill that under heaven expands.” ~ Ebenezer Elliott.