Today I take special notice of the fall flowers. It seems God ordained purple and gold, with a sprinkle of white, for the late bloomers. The warm yellow sunflowers and lively lavender blazing stars are the first to signal summers eminent demise.
Those early bloomers have long since given way to my fall favorites. Along the river, tall goldenrod nod their richly-crowned heads as I pass by. Here and there, bold purple lobelia and rich blue bottle gentians poke their spikey heads into the golden throng. The roadside is painted with pale lavender smooth asters, deep purple New England Asters, and contrasting white calico asters. Sand-loving grey goldenrods intertwine with showy stiff gentians, giving glorious color to the browning grasses. Evening primroses make their contribution with a few late-season blooms.
Spring wildflowers in Wisconsin are all about white; trilliums, bloodroot, anemone, starflowers, and choke cherry blossoms (to name a few). Granted, other colors make a showing but white dominates. It brings to mind the image in Revelation 19:14 of the armies of heaven, arrayed in pure, white linen on white horses. It seems fitting since this is a season of rebirth and renewal when everything begins again, clean and pure. When I was baptized, my pastor gave me a white robe to symbolize my purified heart and my rebirth in Christ.
Summer is the season for pinks and reds and oranges… the prairie flox, the wild rose, and the milkweed… the cardinal flower and the columbine… the butterfly weed, the touch-me not and the Turk’s cap lily. Bold and showy, they parade onto the green landscape. They are bursting with vibrancy and vitality. This new life Christ gave me is rich, and colorful, and vibrant like the summer blooms. I’m not just existing… drudging through another dreary day. (If I am, I’ve missed God’s best for me.) Christ said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10b) The summer colors seem to celebrate life.
Fall wildflowers speak of nobility. Gold and purple have long been associated with wealth and royalty; gold because it is the most precious metal, and purple because it was the most costly fabric dye. As I lay in the field, drowning in my own sea of purple and gold, I silently praise God with the words of Psalm 104:1: “Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord, my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty.” I can’t help but think God has also clothed fall in splendor and majesty. It’s a tangible reminder that my Father is the King. Because I am His child, He has lavished on me all the riches of His kingdom, for now and for eternity.