on blooming outside the church

The large patch of bearded irises just beyond our wrought iron fence waves in the spring morning wind.  A single large purple flower beckons me to come and visit the tribe.

So many irises; so few flowers.  A visiting friend asks me about them and I mention that we didn’t plant them, they were just here when we moved in.  We don’t do anything with them. They barely bloom.

“Too crowded,” she said.  They won’t bloom if they crowd.  You’ll have to dig in and separate them, find them new homes and they’ll begin blooming again.  They’ll be beautiful, she said.

It’s like a revelation – that crowding can stop our bloom.  The interwoven roots of community  wrap around each other in a symbiosis and we always see that as beauty and strength.  The redwoods hold each other up, you know.  But did we ever know that too many of us too close can hinder our beauty?  And isn’t it this beauty that bears the seeds with which we propagate the earth with love and hope and wisdom?

Here in wild meadow, away from others, I begin to bloom again. I have no one to compare myself to.  No way to know if my purple flower is showier or better than the others.  I am here for myself and the wild grasses and the weeds.  Blooming, seeding, waiting.

And in my absence I have made the other flowers stronger too.

The irises spoke to me and told me their story and I found in it my story too.  We left our home church months ago and are not looking for another but we have not left our faith. Here in the wild meadow I am at home and at peace.  God is here too.  For now, this is home. 



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