4 Life Lessons from Wildflowers

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Daisy: What kind of a garden do you come from?
Alice: Oh, I don’t come from any garden.
Daisy: Do you suppose she’s a wildflower?

Alice in Wonderland

Hello lovely! I pray you are well. I stumbled upon this gem of a quote online yesterday, and for some reason it continues to speak to me. Do you suppose I’m a wildflower? I mean, it would explain why I don’t like being fussed over, why I pride myself on being low-maintenance, and why packing my bags to drive to the other side of the country for a boy I barely knew was such an easy decision 8 years ago. I seem to always follow the wind. Do you suppose, just maybe, I’m a wildflower? I feel at home when I’m wandering. When I’m exploring. When I’m alone. When I’m lost.

We often adopt an idyllic view of the wildflower as a carefree something – wild, untamed, and beautiful. But, oh! The wildflower is so much more.

#1 Wildflowers bloom where they are planted.

Wildflowers can’t rely on a gardener to pick them up and replant them when the conditions aren’t quite right. They can’t wait for someone to turn them when the sunlight shifts, or water them when they’re feeling a bit parched. Wildflowers make it work. Sometimes this means raising your child as a single parent when your partner walks out, or learning how to use public transportation when your car breaks down. Wildflowers are resilient, determined and brave.

#2 Wildflowers epitomize holistic beauty. 

Wildflowers are considered beautiful because their representation, location and circumstances place them in a strong enough position to command your attention. A single purple flower resting in a cracked pot will not provoke the same feelings as walking barefoot through a field of lavender. The full appreciation of beauty requires a holistic perspective. Wildflowers are beautiful because they are untamed, informal, unique, messy, visually appealing and solely dependent on God. We are beautiful not only because of our appearance, but because of the light in our heart, our special gifts, our service, our unique stories and our unwavering beliefs.

img_20170105_131513_609#3 Wildflowers have needs too.

We often picture wildflowers as completely independent and carefree. It may be true that wildflowers thrive despite the lack of expensive fertilizers and constant watering, but they still have needs. Certain native plants thrive easily within a large range of conditions, and are found in many regions. Other wildflowers require a specific set of conditions and can only grow in certain states. Wild plants sometimes become so accustomed to their current conditions, that transplanting them to a cultivated garden proves difficult. I can relate.

We all require constant and militant tending of toxic people, the consistent swatting of negative thought insects, and the intentional and painstaking removal of diseases of our hearts, bodies and minds. The needs of our physical, emotional and mental gardens are ever present. Much like wildflowers, our souls will grow weeds with neglect.

#4 Wildflowers are different – not better.

Whether wild or cultivated, all flowers have unique preferences, offer different benefits both therapeutic and visual, and require individualized care to reach their full potential. Beautifully manicured rows of tulips are no better or worse than a single California wildflower growing near a busy roadway. Comparing or generalizing wildflowers will yield the same poor harvest as comparing or generalizing people. Just don’t do it. Much like flowers, we function at optimal levels within an environment that creates the level of intimacy that comes from being truly known.

We are all different, yet the same. Whether scattered by the wind, or placed in the ground by a gardener, all flowers begin as a seed. We all must rely on God to place us where we can be most useful, and where He can ensure we are properly cared for.

“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you — you of little faith!” Luke 12:27-28 NIV

I will leave you with this video (thanks Mom!) – I love this song.

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