The Cow Parsnip Court

Heracleum; Apiaceae

Last weekend in a class I’m taking, we were let loose for a 1/2 hour meditation time in nature. It had been raining heavily during the week, and the meadow was soggy….but I found myself leaving everyone else behind, ankle deep in water, slogging forward toward the very back of the meadow. I knew I was “there” when I found myself in the midst of a huge jungle of cow parsnip in full bloom.

Each being—in the plant world or not—has its time, and it is definitely cow parsnip time right now. Blooming their hearts out, these amazing beings were arrayed in white lace, and I felt like I was a lucky guest in court, watching the courtesans show off their finery.

But then I realized: I didn’t just sneak in the side door. I was the invited guest of honor. These plants had spent all of their evolutionary power to draw me (along with a lot of bees and other pollinators) down that meadow, overcoming every obstacle to make it to my destined appointment in court. Why?

Because I appreciated them. I saw their beauty, and reflected it back to them. It seems like us humans are uniquely designed for that job.

Plants spend every moment of their lives fully living out their destinies: to germinate, sprout, mature, provide food, and bring their beauty to the world through their blossoming. They don’t hold back. They don’t wait for someone to ask! They live fully, all the way along. If only we could do the same.

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