“Nature is ever singing to a child a more exquisite song, and telling a more wonderful tale.” —Wordsworth
Sonja, our neighbor, came by the other day and saw me planting flowers. “Must be spring,” she said, “the Ropers are planting primroses.”
Primroses are inseparable from the season in our minds as well; they are harbingers of spring. But more than that, they’re “joyous, inarticulate children come with vague messages from the Father of all” (George MacDonald)
Ask a botanist, “What is a primrose,” and he will call it primula, the Latin word for “earliest.” He will dissect it and show us its parts and kill it by analysis. A primrose is a primrose is a primrose. Nothing more.
Ask a poet, “What is a primrose?” and he will answer: “Love’s truest language,” Here is a region far deeper than the findings of science, one known mainly to prophets, poets and little children and much closer to the truth of things. Flowers show us the face of our unseen Heavenly Father. Who but a loving and good father could think of flowers for his children?
“The appearances of nature are the truths of nature,” MacDonald said, “far deeper than any scientific discoveries in and concerning them. The show of things is that for which God cares most, for their show is the face of far deeper things than they; we see in them, in a distant way, as in a glass darkly, the face of the unseen…What they say to the childlike soul is the truest thing to be gathered of them.”
C. S. Lewis noted that if I point at my dog’s food dish my dog will stare at my finger, not at his dish. He doesn’t understand the significance of the sign. I, unlike my dog, must look not at but through flowers and every other lovely sign to the one who created beauty and every beautiful thing.
My, how beautiful he must be!