In Matthew Wood’s book Seven Herbs: Plants as Teachers he talks about iris as a plant that is reaching for the Divine. It’s been a long time since I read it, but of all seven herbs it is the iris that stuck with me.
Often spring is a time for me to get back outside and reconnect with the natural world. Digging in the garden, sitting outside reading and soaking in the sun, even taking a daily walk. This year spring was late and since it’s come it has been all about the rain. We’ve had moments of sunlight, hours even. As a whole though the atmosphere has been extremely unsettled.
I can’t complain too much. I’m not living in Oklahoma which is being devastated by tornadoes. Gardens there are forgotten entirely in the digging out from total destruction of lives. The season is late in the northeast as well affecting the berries and syrup many farmers in those states depend on. There are graphics of summer hurricanes in the gulf. That’s not supposed to happen. It’s either too late or too early.
How do we reach for the Divine in a world that seems to have turned against us?
Knowing that we are at least a part of the problem doesn’t really help. I had my yard cleared of buckthorn. In the rain the heavy equipment has not only ripped out the trees but also did a number on my grass. The weed trees were so bad I lost a line of lilacs and a special ornamental as well. They recommend large doses of Round-up between the rains for several weeks to keep it from coming back. The buckthorn AND anything else I guess.
I’ve misplaced my camera, and my cell phone doesn’t have enough resolution to do my photographic vision justice. Looking at the world through a lens distances us from what we see. I’ve loved taking photos, but I’ve also found that I love being able to truly be in a moment without worrying about “capturing it for posterity”.
Just like the orris root, we often live “stuck in the mud” of our daily lives. So too can we be like the iris blossom and reach up and out of the muck for the Divine. As the iris blooms this season it reminds me to reach.