These delicate wildflowers, which are blooming now, are called bluets. They seem to be native to the North East Pennsylvania river lands. Quaker Ladies and Innocence are their lovely local names.
As close to the ground as they are found, they can be seen from a distance in dense patches, or if left alone in a lawn they can form impressive sprays of pink, white, lavender or blue.
Here they get to bloom only a short while before the tractor takes them down with the first lawn cutting. But this year I successfully (!) moved two good-sized clumps of white and lavender bluets just a few feet where they will be safe from the mower and realized that, as with so many of the very lovely forest flowers, their root systems are shallow, found just below the soil line.
What a delight this year watching the forest green, seemingly from bottom to top, and paying close attention to the tremendous flower-fern variety found there. The woods were packed with thick ice this past winter and still the native flowers, with their shallow root systems, are appearing with vigor. So this spring I've recognized the forest as an image of our own stories of survival.
Perhaps as the Easter time draws to a close we might call to mind some particular story of survival in our own lives or family life. That we have survived:
- family alcoholism
- domestic violence
- life threatening illness
- sex abuse
- suicide attempt
- a broken heart
- an attack
- mental illness
As life goes, we're as vulnerable as a bunch of shallow-rooted bluets in a severe winter. O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his kindness is everlasting. Psalm 106:1