In my garden there are a couple of echinacea plants. This flower is native to my location and there are so many reasons that I love this plant.
- It blooms for much of the summer.
- I’ve not seen deer eat them, so they endure and live peacefully with most of the local flora and fauna.
- Although the flowers on this plant are purple, the species itself has a diversity of colors. I am partial to the purple flowers but all are quite lovely.
- The plant itself is hardy and the echinacea in ,y garden have survived some harsh winter temperatures, going down to below zero (f).
- The plant seems to have some medicinal properties, although there are those who would dispute that.
What I appreciate about this particular plant is that if you look very closely at the bottom right corner of the picture you will see a flower that seems to be growing apart from the others. The stem of the plant extends horizontally at ground level and the flower is healthy and blooming. It appears a bit less purple, but is part of the whole plant none-the -less.
Why is it that some of us are supported when we ‘bloom where we are planted,” as the saying goes? Why do some children seem to be the stereotypical black sheep? Why are black sheep shunned? What allows for acceptance? What does it take foster a climate of love, peace, inquiry and a willingness to accept and celebrate our differences?
Why do some resist new and different ideas? What frightens us about being different? Is it that explanation of survival of the fittest? Is it that early humans had to agree and support each other, dependent on one another for their existence? Do we fear ‘the other’ because he may be smarter, more creative, or stronger than we are? Might her ability to endure backbreaking labor be better than ours? If so, what do those who cultivate their gifts and use them for benefit have to teach us? Why are we often afraid to acknowledge the lessons?
Does the curiosity of one eager mind diminish my own capacity? Perhaps all are needed for survival, because each person has her own singular gift to share. Rather than celebrate only commonalities, we might be better off to embrace and cherish the diversity of each person, knowing that all contributions to the well-being of humankind are needed.
Are we born to be obedient? What convictions, if any do we hold sacred? When do we break with authority and when do we hold fast to it?
It might not seem relevant to ponder the idea of conformity and obedience with my little plant. I just can’t help but wonder how nature, in this instance at any rate seems to share to effortlessly support the totality of the plant and yet as humans too often we struggle to accept those we name as outliers.