Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
The pretty, self-seeding aquilegia is an old fashioned country cottage garden plant with delicate pink or blue bell shaped flowers. The old country folk used to call them “fairies bonnets.”
In earlier times fairies had a reputation rather different to that portrayed in cartoons today. They were often seen as mischievous and indeed sometimes malevolent will o’ the wisp creatures. Children were warned to avoid areas of woodland or springs which fairies were thought to frequent for fear of upsetting the “little folk”. They were told that if they did meet a fairy in the woods then they should doff their cap as a sign of respect – and leave the area hastily! The 19th century saw a resurgence of interest in the supernatural so that the publication of a photo purporting to show fairies in a wooded area of a garden provoked excitement among the intelligentsia. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the Sherlock Holmes novels, took it seriously. It was, he said, proof of the existence of “something out there…” Of course, the photo was a hoax, but before we pour scorn on them maybe we behave a bit like those old folk, touching our caps to the fairies. We still want to hold on to our worldly possessions, and indeed increase them, even though these may prove to have no real substance.
The point is that God knows our needs and will give us enough to satisfy them; our wants are a different matter. Remember what Our Lord said: ‘Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed the very hairs on your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.’ Luke 12:6-7(NIV)
The aquilegia, the fairies bonnets will quickly fade demonstrating just how illusory our wants are; yet once ripe their seed pods will explode distributing seeds to form new plants across the garden. Our wants are still there!
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years