Bits of joy on the journey

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.

Mother Teresa

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Bunchberries are native wildflowers that grow in our woods. Related to Dogwoods, they have a similar cluster of tiny individual flowers in the centre, surrounded by four white bracts. Once the bracts die and fall away, the centre flowers develop into a cluster of red berries which are enjoyed by our birds. In the fall the overlapping whorl of six leaves turn a bronzy red.

Bunchberries are popular as a slow-growing ground cover, but I like them because they survive on their own in the acidic mulch and moist shade under our evergreen trees. I like them because they delight me and inspire joy every time I come across their beauty en route to the marsh. When I’m focused on the destination they remind me to appreciate the journey.

Do you have a favourite wildflower? Do your characters encounter wildflowers in any of your stories?

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Take Joy

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7 thoughts on “Bits of joy on the journey

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever seen these flowers before although we do have dogwood trees.

    My favorite wildflower is the Black-Eyed Susan. Their cheerful, daisy-like quality makes me smile. It also doesn’t hurt that my name is Susan. :)

  2. S. Etole says:

    I like the little white daisies that grow along the roadside in the summer. Your Bunchberries are beautiful.

  3. Jenn Hubbard says:

    I’ve seen bunchberries! Most memorably in the Adirondacks.
    I love wild plants, especially trees and flowers, and have learned the names of many of them. In the spring, I know exactly what flowers and in what order (first the witch hazel, then the snowdrops and glory of the snow, then crocuses …)

    I adore lupines, which don’t grow around here so I mostly see them on vacations in the mountains. And violets, which are everywhere. Also bluebells, lady’s slipper, mountain laurel … oh, too many to name.

    My upcoming book has a character who is really into wild mushrooms. She has learned their names and makes tentative identifications, but (wisely) doesn’t try to eat them.

    • Carol says:

      Your comment reminds me how much I loved seeing a meadow filled with wildflowers on one of our vacations. I imagine they had originally been domestic, but had naturalized and spread in a multi-hued blanket across a huge field. It was beautiful!

  4. joylene says:

    I’ve always believed God was in the silence all around and inside of us. I think the wild flowers are His way of reminding us of that. Don’t really have a favourite. They’re all so beautiful.

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