Spring Violets

As a small girl I eagerly anticipated the arrival of each spring because that was when the violets bloomed in the woods behind our house. I used to run down to the cool, shady woods early each morning to see if the flowers were "up yet." After two or three weeks of this anticipation the day finally arrived when the green and brown woods had exploded in a profusion of tiny blue petals. After a few seconds of breathlessness I busied myself picking handful after handful of violets to take home to my mother.

In the adult world today such a pastoral quality of life seems desirable but impractical. How many of us have woods near our houses? Or even if there are such places relatively accessible to us, how many of us feel we have time enough to run down and check on their progress every morning? We have work to do, houses to keep, bills to pay. As much as we'd like to contemplate the beauty of nature, we feel we have little opportunity, and even less time.

But was the child who brought her mother violets from the woods simply offering things that were pretty but useless? She was sharing with her mother the joy she had received from her communion with the God-bestowed beauty of the woods. The violets were symbols of the inspiration the child had found within herself.

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Wagons and Stars
April 1, 1972

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