Blue Iris

With a move to the cooler climate some fourteen years ago, I began to add plants to the property from my childhood.  Plants I knew would grow where I now lived.  Lilac, Mock Orange, Iris.  The iris were planted along the driveway, and every Spring the iris would appear.

About 4 years ago, only the green leaves would appear.  No buds, no blooms.  Then this year one plant decided to bloom.  A beautiful white and purple bloom.  The sight of the single iris with the woods in the background, literally stopped me in my tracks. I was driving out of the driveway, saw the iris, and pulled up next to it and took this photograph.


Mary Oliver penned the poem, It Doesn’t Have to Be a Blue Iris.


     “It doesn’t have to be
     the blue iris, it could be
     weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
     small stones; just
     pay attention, then patch
     a few words together and don’t try
     to make them elaborate, this isn’t
     a contest but the doorway
     into thanks, and a silence in which
     another voice may speak.”

I’m learning to pray.  Of course I’ve been praying for a good while, but not in the way I am praying these days. I feel like I’m in conversation with God.  Right now it’s not as shared a conversation as that I crave.  That’s probably because I’m better at speaking to God than listening to God.  Nonetheless, the praying conversation is off and on during each day, and at night I drift off in mid-conversation. 

As Mary Oliver reminds us, prayer does not have to be elaborate, dramatic, scene-stealing– just pay attention to what is around us, patch a few words together into thanks; with silence for listening.

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