This lovely, spring-flowering, native plant, nicely protected by rocks, has the curious name, Cutleaf Toothwort. The word cutleaf speaks for itself - the leaves sharply delineated - but the toothwort part of the name?
The roots of this plant can be used as a treatment for toothache. Little knobs, suggesting teeth, grow along the edge of the fleshy roots. Paracelsus, a 16th century professor at the University of Basel named this plant and taught that when God put plants on the earth he graced each of them in appearance with some hint of how they might be useful to humans.
From the start God has had us in mind and wants only what is best for us. Plants serve as companions to us on this planet where a lot can go wrong - like toothache! It seems that God has planted among us remedies for what can ail us. We ought to be more careful and considerate of the gifts.
And when I see a growing thing that is as lovely as Toothwort I think that God not only has our best interests in mind, but that God has carpeted the earth with loveliness and delicacy because God always knew that Jesus would walk here with us.
For the gift of Toothwort
and every green-growing and flowering thing ~
And where Toothwort might come up short ~
for the skills of my techno-armed dentist,
who preserves these aging teeth of mine.