Posts Tagged ‘plants’

delicate plant ghosts

This tiny little plant is only about the size of my little finger. It’s so small, it would’ve been easy to miss it, but I’m glad I didn’t.

It inspires me for so many reasons.

I love the fact that what catches the attention is the spaces. They’re the first thing you notice. Almost as if when looking at a net you’d see the holes first, then the thread. And what was in those spaces? Some kind of seed I expect. This framework was most likely the structure that held the seeds in place, raised them up to the sky and waited till the wind blew and took them away to settle somewhere else. That got me thinking about seeds, and how many amazing ways plants have to spread their seeds around the world, how they’ll use the wind, insects, birds, really pretty much any way they can to hitch lifts, travel far and wide without any power to move in the seed itself. This set me thinking about the interconnectedness of everything, of how the world is a vast interconnected network, how really you can’t understand anything or anybody without knowing something of the world they live in and some of their vast web of connections, influences, links and bonds.

Then I got to thinking about how this little group of circles held up the past for inspection. Look, said the plant, here is where my sons and daughters were, and now they’ve all flown and I’ve only the spaces now in my life, where they used to be. And that’s just how it should be.

I had other thoughts too, but I’d be interested to hear if this little plant inspires any thoughts of your own!

delicate plant ghosts

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I wandered into the Cathedrale Saint-Saveur in Aix en Provence the other day. It’s one of those awe-inspiring spaces. In fact, it’s a multiple of spaces inside, some vast, and some small and intimate. I’m always interested in the way plants are used by human beings (enthobotany is the correct term!) and so it was no surprise to see the prominence of lilies in the cathedral.

lilies in the church

Lilies are one of those plants which have special spiritual signifance over many centuries. If you ever wander around a gallery of French or Italian paintings for example, you’ll spot lily plants in many of the religious ones. The white lily is sometimes referred to as the “Madonna Lily” which further conveys the extent to which people have imbued this plant with spiritual significance.

The scent of lilies is very, very strong. I find it quite overpowering. In fact, it doesn’t take long before I feel rather queasy in a room full of lilies. It’s a pity for me because I think they are very beautiful but I can’t have them in my house. Fortunately, the cathedral is so large I could escape the scent of the lilies pretty easily.

What did surround me absolutely everywhere was the music. They were playing Thais’ Meditation. You know it? Here’s Sophie-Anne Mutter playing it. It’s one of those pieces of music that always, but always, makes me feel tearful. It moves me in my core.

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purple flower, originally uploaded by bobsee.

Does anyone know what this plant is called?
It’s about 12 inches tall and grows in the verges at the sides of the road. This one is just outside Aix en Provence
I’ve never seen a flower like this in Scotland and I’d like to know what it is.
Can you help?

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