A Valentine for Christmas

This morning I read Luke 12:22-31—“…Consider how the lilies grow…” and so I do.
It’s unseasonably warm here for almost Christmas; the weatherman says it will get up to 65 F today. When I take Lucy Mae out for her morning business, the air is wet with mist and the scent of earth fills my nostrils like so many growing things stirred in the soup of all the seasons gone by. It feels like spring.
And then I read about lilies and it takes me back to a poem I read last night in this book my friend sent me for Christmas. It’s a book of valentine poems and it has been softening my heart for Love.
The Bluet by Ted Kooser
Of all the flowers, the bluet has
the sweetest name, two syllables
that form on the lips, then fall
with a tiny, raindrop splash
into a suddenly bluer morning.
I offer you mornings like that,
fragrant with tiny blue blossoms—
each with four petals, each with a star
at its heart. I would give you whole fields
of wild perfume if only
you could be mine, if you were not—
like the foolish bluet (also called
Innocence)—always holding your face
to the fickle, fly-by kiss
of the Clouded Sulphur Butterfly.
All this talk of lilies and of bluets and the smell of spring makes my heart smile. It takes me back to my girl-ish days when I wondered into fields of bluets so often. My childhood home was a place of secret beauty waiting for my young eyes to unveil. How the bluets could grace a bed of moss—crocheted across the green. I would gather small bundles, clutching lightly at their delicate stick-like stems, and place them in thimbles all about my dollhouse. They were just the right size for that miniature representation and always I sought to make my pretend world more beautiful than the real. With a little imagination I could pretty up these stacks of wooden crates and leftover scraps of our life that I carefully placed together to create a place where I could dream another life. One filled with beauty.
Jeff laughed when I told him the name of these simple flowers, and when he saw a wild violet he asked, “And what are these called? Purplets?” How I do love that man.
I count this scripture about lilies and provision and trust a valentine—just as the poem—and I wonder at the simplicity of it. In this season of excess, remembering my simple life as a child can be a haunting. It’s a fleeting ghost—a pang of empty, a twist of revulsion in the gut. The tree is too big and there is too much red, too many lights, and all these bits of Christmas scattered in every corner seem too much, so pointless and dumb. I mean, I have a tree in my house, for heaven’s sake. Sometimes, I want to strip all this away…it seems like such a waste of time.
On Sunday, Rev. Jan said, in her sermon, “There is one thing God doesn’t do and that’s waste time. He uses it all.”
So, I’ve been thinking about that. Dreaming of valentines. And bluets.
 
with Jen:

and Michelle:

Comments

  1. says

    This post is lovely and poetic. Funny how as children we are in a rush to grow up and once we’re adults, we yearn for the ease and simplicity of our younger life.

    Bluets…I’ve not heard of these before. This is the one new thing I will have learned today.

    Thanks for the inspiration this morning, Andrea

  2. says

    I’m thinking today about the fullness of time, and then I clicked over here to read about Valentine’s Day and Spring and Christmas all rolled in to one! And, in the lovely way you always do, you made all those times jumbled together so vivid.

    Now I’m thinking about how we wait, in time, but one day time as we know it will cease. Or change. Or be better. And I’m pretty sure there will be Bluets at Christmas through all of eternity.

  3. says

    Anything by Ted Kooser has got to be good.

    Is “dingy grey” a color? Dingette?
    How about a flower that’s fuchsia— fuchsette? For indigo— indigette? (Sounds like indignant.)

    Hey guess what—love ya.

  4. says

    And purplets. I like that, and I like the name Lucy Mae, and I like that you point us to words that move you because these words move me too. Oh, and I like you!

    Hope your Christmas is wonderful, Laura.

  5. says

    I’m wondering about you wanting to strip away the too-big tree and the too much red and the brightness of the lights.

    Strip back to what, exactly?

    Love this. Love you.

  6. says

    I’ve been chewing on this very passage of Scripture for the last two days–a strong comfort to my hurting heart.

    I’m thankful for a God whose care and love for me doesn’t evaporate in the midst of the Christmas chaos. Instead, it envelops me and carries me… despite the discord.

    Oh for a barefoot dance in fields of lilies and not being worried about thorns and thistles!

    Merry Christmas, sweet friend. I love you.

    peace~elaine

  7. says

    We’ll just have to have a Bluet Christmas, then, if we can’t have a White Christmas! 😉

    (Love seems to be in the air…)

    And you have a way of bringing love in your life and others’ lives no matter what the day brings.

    Wishing you a beautiful Christmas. Love you Laura!

  8. says

    There’s so much here and you share it so well. You make me wonder and think and smile and laugh out loud (purplettes!).

    I am remembering a picture of your Christmas tree from an earlier post and how it took my breath away and how I wanted to get rid of the tree I have and get one that looks just like yours. You make all things beautiful, Laura. It’s true. You do.

    (Ted Kooser lives here in my town. Sometimes I see him in the grocery store, or at a table near mine in a restaurant. Just a regular guy. I’m always amazed by how “regular” he is.)

  9. says

    So THAT’s what the comment about ‘bluets on the table’ was about! I am SO FAR BEHIND ON MY EMAIL that I’m sneaking in a day late to read this loveliness. Yes, I love the idea of a valentine for Christmas. Hope yours is a blessed and exceptionally merry one, Laura.

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