CONSIDER THE LILIES OF THE FIELD
by: Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)
- LOWERS preach to us if we will hear:--
- The rose saith in the dewy morn:
- I am most fair;
- Yet all my loveliness is born
- Upon a thorn.
- The poppy saith amid the corn:
- Let but my scarlet head appear
- And I am held in scorn;
- Yet juice of subtle virtue lies
- Within my cup of curious dyes.
- The lilies say: Behold how we
- Preach without words of purity.
- The violets whisper from the shade
- Which their own leaves have made:
- Men scent our fragrance on the air,
- Yet take no heed
- Of humble lessons we would read.
- But not alone the fairest flowers:
- The merest grass
- Along the roadside where we pass,
- Lichen and moss and sturdy weed,
- Tell of His love who sends the dew,
- The rain and sunshine too,
- To nourish one small seed.
A fleeting beauty, - they express themselves in one great passionate show, and then lily time is past for another year. Still one more beautifully fragrant Regal lily to bloom, and I watch the buds swell with sweet anticipation.
Lily time is also Cherry time, and the voice of the itinerant cherry picker is heard in the land as they fill their buckets with luscious fruit, chatting all the time.
Before the time of miniature trees, in ancient days, I would have said they call from branch to branch as they run up and down ladders to empty their buckets.
In even more ancient times, when Husband was young the cherry trees on their orchard were 30 to 40 feet high. The ladders were elongated to reach the tops by tying two twenty foot ladders together in the centre of the tree. And the buckets of cherries were passed down by pulley. Once you were up reaching for the heavens you were there for the day..... It was a matter of pride that not even one cherry remain unpicked, no matter how far out on a limb it was. A wonder it was not a matter of great catapulting from the top of the ladder, or a great thud as you reached too far out on a limb and went swooshing through the branches.
Here is Husband's father, and it looks to me as if he could be standing on the top of a ladder in a cherry tree.... with cheerful insouciance. No need to sally forth and look for adventure if you lived on an orchard with challenges like this...
I await the Montmorency or the Morello to make a mouth watering tart sour cherry pie - we had sour cherries on the farm, and they were part and parcel of July's treasures, but now they are as scarce as hen's teeth as cherished varieties disappear and the orchards mesmerize into vineyards