Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Zinnias and Remembering

Yellow Zinnia with Bumblebee

We hear a great deal about Alzheimers these days: that at some point our brains start to break down and we lose the gift of remembering.  Human beings seem to be made for remembering. A nursing home I visited recently has an activity in the afternoon where the folks gather and are invited and led into remembering.

God remembers. Pope John Paul II said that we are one of God's thoughts; one of God's heartbeats. An omniscient God isn't going to forget even one lovely thought us. Some Christians like to think of God as being good at remembering our sins - especially the sexual sins. And that on judgment day God will remember them all out loud and we'll either go to heaven or hell based on those sins. So much for the drained Blood of Christ, heh?

Anyway, zinnias are these wonderful summer annual flowers that delight us. The zinnias we know today, the giant ones with the pop out colors, are hybrids of native zinnias. As hybridizers we're co-creators with God. I investigated the symbolic meaning of zinnias and found that the yellow zinnia means remembering. Remembering is simply the action of our minds which brings thoughts forward. Remembering and resentment or bitterness go hand in hand, but remembering and joyful gratitude do all the more.

In the presence of the yellow zinna - remembering:
my walking feet
the persons who delivered me
the watery-womb which carried me
every kindness ever done to me
every gift given

the movement of baptism waters
my First Communion Day
for love in my life
the times I avoided death and
the healing of old wounds

the survival of cruelty and abuse
the animals I have known
the surrounding colors
the air I breathe
the beating of my heart

that I can create and
health has been restored
that there is friendship in my life
that I'm able to read these lines and
delight in music

for the gift of taste
for growth in goodness
for laughter
for the relieving gift of tears
for poems and hymns

the heron on the stream 
the fruit ripening
the air-cleaning leaves
the blue moon
the summer season

a sudden storm
a sibling's love
July's lilies
the greeting, good morning
sorrows and trials that invite humility.

for angels and saints
bread and wine
every good meal
for the students I've taught
for the children of friends

You take it from here...



  1. Remembering a good friend you haven't seen in a while. Remembering all of the good qualities they have! Remembering how they made you feel ! Remembering what they did to help you through difficult times... Remembering the silly little things they did .... Remembering how nice it is to catch up even if it is for a short visit... remembering our fallen also from Sept 11... And NEVER FORGETTING... Thank You for not forgetting any of your followers

  2. For this post that brings encouragement everyday.

  3. For my children's health
    the job I do
    being able to provided for my family
    beating depression
    for good advice I have received.

    I will remember these things with joy.

  4. For your blog posts that keep my faith strong and the path lit.

  5. Sometimes forgetting painful memories can be a gift in itself. Maybe because there hasn't been true healing.

  6. Hmmm. I'm not sure 'forgetting' is the goal. I don't want to 'forget' what happened that stole life away or confounded me. I've worked through to the healing - then when the old scenes come to mind they don't have the power anymore. But it was a lot of hard work coming to that place. I heard about a boy who saw a butterfly struggling to get free of the cocoon. Intending kindness, he picked the butterfly out of the cocoon. It then died. It HAD to experience the struggle of getting free to live. Wow! I get it!

    1. I get it. Great example.You can not be afraid of the hard work. Just knowing where to start sometimes is a struggle. Digging into the darkness to see what is really lurking and afraid to unleash the terrible demons. Finding the right person to ask the toughest questions is really important in being successful. I hope the person above finds their way to healing.

  7. What, I see in this post is a warm thank you and mindfulness of the goodness around us. It has helped to bring me up to a better place.