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



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?




Take Joy

~  ~  ~


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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