Every year I marvel more and more at how long it takes for the Aster and the Goldenrod to bloom. Think back to when you saw your first blossom of Spring. Maybe it was a Crocus against your house, or perhaps you spied Snowdrops in Central Park. But now, in the damp of an autumn morning or the dry warmth of an October afternoon, they seem like memories more distant than a high school romance. Even the Daffodils and Tulips of early May feel less contemporary than Christmas decorations at this part of the growing season.
Why do some flowers jump out of bed and race into bloom at the first light of Spring while others dawdle and delay for months and months on end? Relative size is not the answer—after all, the Maples blush red at even the first hint of warmth on the March breeze. The Aster and the Goldenrod seem like twin hares yawning out of bed with drooping ears and mussed whiskers, expecting to sprint to the flower finish seemingly unaware that a veritable parade of tortoises have been bursting into bouquets and nestling into nosegays since April.
Why do some flowers bloom in March, and some in April, and some in May, and still others in June, July, August, and even now in September and October? Why such a spread, why such a timeline? Why doesn’t everything bloom during some uniform window of ideal conditions? Why don’t the flowers just hold a grand convention in the third week of May? It would certainly save the Goldenrod the annual embarrassment of oversleeping for six months of broad daylight only to arrive for the gala after all her friends and relations have been plucked, mowed, or laid to rest weeks and months before.
Why do the October flowers wait so long to bloom? Why do they hold out this late? What makes them grow with such persistent sloth, forming stalk and stem and leaf but withholding the blossom until first frost is upon us? Isn’t the answer in the question? Isn’t the most likely conclusion that the reason there is a wonderful progression of the earth’s blooms is because it is wonderful to have a progression of flowers throughout the temperate months? Isn’t this just simply a gift from God?
Endless options for the tireless drone.
Unceasing inspiration for the aspiring artist.
Unlimited opportunity for the wayfaring romantic.
Infinite doxologies for the awe-filled eye.
“He has made all things beautiful in His time,“ says the Preacher. “Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these,“ says our Lord and Creator. Indeed he who has eyes to see, let him see.
October 8, 2021