Friday, July 13, 2012

Fruits Of The Spirit: Gentleness

Last May, I joined throngs of other Pacific Northwesterners to visit the tulip fields in the Skagit Valley.

If you have never seen a tulip field in bloom, it is a powerful sight. Imagine any broad, flat area of crops, where one farmer's field bumps right up against another's, and the vast waves of perfectly lined fields goes on and on as far as the eye can see.

Now take a mental paintbrush, and color those fields in with the most vivid hues imaginable. Chose some yellow, pink, purples, even a hint of orange. But go heavy on the red. Lots and lots of red.

That gives you an idea of what I saw on this trip. My eyes were filled to the brim with those bold, geometric and visually precise rows upon rows of stiff-stemmed tulips, sorted into matching fields of colors and looking quite a bit like the meticulous and uptight Dutch tradesmen who propagated them back in the day.

After an hour of walking through these fields, and honestly, starting to feel a bit overwhelmed, I came upon a small wooden cart, hitched to a tractor, parked in the far corner of one of the fields.  I was immediately drawn to the aged planks that formed the base of the cart; they were an interesting sight for my eyes.

When I stepped around to see what was in the carts, this is what I found. Several large armloads of cut tulip blossoms, piled into a loose but tidy mound. As you can see, there were different colors mixed together, and the flowers had wilted ever so slightly in the warm spring sun. Their petals were still fresh, but their stems had drooped just enough so that the flowers seemed to melt into one another.

I fell madly in love with this little cart full of wilted flowers. To me, they were the sweet and much more tender nieces and nephews of the bold blossoms still standing at attention in the fields. These soft and subtle blooms were a lovely example of gentleness.

To read more posts on the Fruits of the Spirit, go here.

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