Tag Archives: Crocus

Stupid Spring Flowers

Have you noticed spring flowers don’t possess high IQs?

After years of “surprise” March blizzards, you’d think clueless flowers would wait until April before peeking out.

Brave or foolish, my crocuses herald the hope of spring.

My daffodils also are poor communicators. Having often turned into flower-sicles, they should have the decency to warn the younger generation. New bulbs should don furry little mittens like spring-smart pussy willows. But they never do.

So, every March, I lecture my flowers about the virtues of sleeping in.

I never had to instruct my children about this.

But flowers don’t get it. Each year, they hear the same weather wisdom: come out too early, and you’ll freeze your buds off. Wait until the sun shines more than one day out of 30.

But do they listen?

Image by Ryan Minion from Pixabay.

No-o-o-o. While the ground remains iron and silvered with snow, dumb flowers poke their heads above icy earth and shiver in their shoots.

Not too bright.

Though I admit that doesn’t apply to color. Yellow daffodils and purple crocuses look like fresh, brilliant paint dropped from God’s brush onto a color-starved landscape. His gift after a long, weary winter?

Maybe spring flowers aren’t so dumb, after all.

Image by Ralph from Pixabay.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: When does your favorite spring flower first appear?

Of Crocuses, Tourneys and Hope

“A single crocus blossom ought to be enough to convince our heart that springtime, no matter how predictable, is somehow a gift …” —David Steindl-Rast

Have you, too, been watching your crocus bed like basketball bracketology? As if tiny blossoms guarantee your team achieves NCAA basketball glory?

While not everyone pairs crocuses and basketball, this Hoosier always will.

Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay.

Blizzards may morph the combination into a reluctant threesome. Benedictine monk Steindl-Rast’s quote above resonates with me. Yet, Indiana inhabitants understand our March is as fickle as a referee’s calls.

Still, when crocuses, tough little optimists, push through snow, I want to turn somersaults. Although I prefer not to spend spring in a body cast.

Image by Klaus-Peter Knopp from Pixabay.

Perhaps ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Minoans also had to resist somersault temptation, as they loved crocuses. The Romans gave us their name, derived from the Latin adjective “crocatus,” meaning “saffron yellow.” Spice derived from an autumn crocus was used extensively by ancient chefs. Fashionistas used saffron to color fabrics and hairdos. Others swore it cured Grandpa Kitanetos’ rheumatism, Grandma Isis’ headaches and even Uncle Flavius’ habit of hitting the wineskins too often.

Image by Oberholster Venita from Pixabay.

Not surprisingly, the plant appeared in early civilizations’ mythology. Somebody was always falling in love with somebody else, rousing a god’s jealousy. In retribution, remorse or pity — or all three — deities, nymphs or humans were turned into crocuses.

In contrast, God, in the Old Testament book of Isaiah, celebrated the flower with an outrageous simile: “The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus” (Isaiah 35:1 NIV).

The Judean desert? I’ve been there. Even cacti run screaming from that burning wilderness.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay.

At that time, God wasn’t dealing with depressed sports fans whose team blew it. He was speaking to war refugees who thought God had given up on them. Instead, He promised Jesus would come, bringing forgiveness and healing that would make miserable lives blossom like the crocus.

Today, as snow falls, the crocuses and I don’t give up hope. Tiny buds are reaching for the heavens, proclaiming Jesus’ Resurrection never quits.

Because of Him, we can always have hope.

Even if our team loses in the first round.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What do crocuses say to you?

Super Swooper Versus Small-Time Heroes

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay.

Do you also wish a superhero would swoop down and fly you to a beach where sunshine is the only butt-warmer needed?

My Super Swooper hasn’t appeared. Still, throughout my life, small-time heroes have popped up like crocuses through snow.

My family was staying in a church’s back rooms with no bathing facilities. Mom’s friend shared her old-fashioned bathtub, making the world a less stinky place.

Unknown drivers pulled over 1950s Chevys to give my young father rides to work.

As a preschooler, I pilfered a necklace from Etta, the Church Lady. Mom forced my confession before Etta and God. Both pardoned me. Later, Etta gave me a necklace of my very own.

A preacher gave me a Hershey bar and told me I could sing.

Serious hero points go to children’s education leaders who kept straight faces and saved mine. Assured any scripture memorization qualified for a prize, I recited Song of Solomon passages. Unknown to me, they weren’t about palm trees and goats.

As a teen driver, I smashed a pastor’s car, yet he maintained his religion.

Image by RitaE from Pixabay.

At my first job, I dumped salads with French dressing on a lady wearing a white suit. She waved off my tearful apology: “No problem. I have six kids.”

A college student, I worked summer nights in a rough Western town. The cook drank coffee out front, wearing a snarl no cowboy challenged. “If anybody hassles you, I’ll break ’em in two.”

Less menacing, a couple with small children picked up my boyfriend and I for church every week.

Despite my future in-laws’ visions of a marital Titanic, they supported our wedding during medical school.

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay.

Other small-time heroes zoomed in:

An unemployed couple slid 10 dollars under our door.

A child brightened my tough workday by saying I was pretty.

A stranger, concerned about my pregnancy, pushed my shopping cart and unloaded groceries.

A snowplow operator cleared our driveway, with homemade bread for payment.

I’d asked a Burger King counterperson to reheat cold fries. Upon hearing I’d been dieting and hoped to enjoy a treat, she handed me smoking-hot replacements.

A young college student carried this old adult student’s backpack up three flights of stairs.

A grouchy, nonfiction editor didn’t throw me out for mistakenly pitching fiction to her at 8:00 a.m. She ultimately published several of my pieces.

Image by shahbazshah91 from Pixabay.

A writing friend grabbed me before I entered an important meeting wearing a Chiquita banana sticker on my power-suited butt.

All these and more have rescued me. I can’t count how many times my family has saved me.

Who needs Super Swooper, anyway?

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Who are your small-time heroes?