This past winter I was working with Steven Chase's book, Nature as Spiritual Practice, and found the following reflection on Queen Anne's lace. I wanted to run out and look for the secret he mentions, but it was the wrong season and of course none were in bloom. I was able to find it in one of my summer photos however, and I started looking for it again this summer, as soon as I saw Queen Anne's lace in bloom, letting myself be attentive and astonished. Here are a few glimpses of the many faces of Queen Anne's lace.
From Steven Chase, Nature as Spiritual Practice:
In open dry fields, prairies, and along roadways -- often growing in friendly gatherings from mid-July through early September -- is a wild flower that I invite you to bend down and look at carefully. It has very small cream-white, lacy petals that are collectively formed in the shape of an inverted umbrella (called an umbrel). The umbrel is rounded at the bottom and nearly flat at the top with a slightly blueish-green stem; the green leaves are very finely cut, almost fern-like, and they smell of carrot when crushed. Beneath the umbrel of petals is a parachute pattern of stems that together support hundreds of these tiny floweret-petals, each one no more than one-eighth of an inch across. This wildflower is commonly called Queen Anne's lace (Daucus carota), named for the lace-like patterns formed by the formal, intricate arrangement of these hundreds of small flowerets. But besides the beauty of the lacy patterns, Queen Anne's lace is a flower with a secret. Within the shared umbrel, in the very center of the hundreds and hundreds of flowerets, is one -- and only one-- reddish to wine-purple floweret, also one-eighth of an inch across. Just one -- no larger or smaller than any of its uncountable, creamy white brothers and sisters. Facing Queen Anne's lace -- letting it be as attentive to and astonished by you as you are by it -- you share with its wine-colored eye something only the flower and the prairie know...." p. 48
"Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"
I've taken on a prayer practice of looking for the moments of light in each day, whether actual or metaphorical, and then writing or posting photos of what I find.