They begin showing themselves as early as May, but they have reached their glory now, in late July. Harbingers of the heat, cool blue blooms line the scorching pavement of both unkempt city streets and winding country roads. Pastures roll in blue cascades from dawn until just past midday.
An aunt once told me that chicory blooms reminded her of me, because they began blooming in my birth month, and they were the same color as my eyes. Maybe her comment helped shape my admiration for these curiously uncelebrated blossoms, or perhaps God created them just for my beholding. Either way, their beauty has enchanted me for as long as I can remember.
On an errand a few days ago, I noticed that an area at the intersection near my home had been completely overtaken by waves of blue. What an improvement to that otherwise unremarkable patch of ground! Then, I saw that the remainder of my route was fringed with cornflower blue, as well.
“Why do I never see these in bouquets?” I wondered.
When I returned home, I hurried to my computer to find the answer to that question. I learned quite a bit about this prolific plant.
Get ready for some facts!
Chicory, as I know it, is also known by several other names: horseweed, henibeh, ragged sailors, blue sailors, succory, wild bachelor’s buttons, wild endive, blue weed, blue daisy, blue dandelion, bunk, coffee weed, and cornflower. It is a perennial plant in the dandelion family, and nearly every part of it serves purpose as either medicine or food.
Chicory’s medicinal properties range from being an antiparasitic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory, to relieving both stress and constipation. It’s good for the bones, liver, and blood glucose levels.
As for food usage, Chicory has been widely used as both an additive to coffee and a replacement for it, altogether. It also adds a nicely bitter element to any salad.
These were very interesting facts, but why are they passed by when wildflowers are gathered for bouquets?
Each fringed flower petal is approximately 1.5 inches in diameter, and each bloom can hold as many as 20 petals. The blooms grow on 2-5 feet stalks with several branches. The flowers open, depending on the climate, at about 5:00am each morning, and they close around noon. While each stalk might bare many buds, very few will open at the same time. Once opened, the blooms last only one day.
These beautiful, blue blooms are not coveted for bouquets, because there are never enough flowers on the stalk, at one time, to justify their inclusion! On any given day, the appearance of the spindly stalk and spent blooms from the past would diminish the glory of a cut arrangement.
Simply put, when you pick a chicory flower from the masses, its weaknesses are more visible, and they tend to take away from the strengths of its beauty (in the opinion of some bouquet aficionados, I suppose).
There was the answer to my question.
It was then that I felt a familiar tug at my spirit. There was a lesson here, and the Holy Spirit wanted me to take hold of it.
Think of our lives as those chicory stalks, scattered with buds, from top to bottom. One day, we bloom here. The next day, we bloom there. We have many seasons in our lives that can be defined by the different jobs we have held, the places we have lived, the relationships we have enjoyed, etc. How important it is that we BLOOM, whatever the season! Wherever we find ourselves in life, there is beauty for us to offer. We are never insignificant!
Now, consider this. Individually, my favorite wildflower has beauty, but many visible weaknesses. Left in the meadow, swells of brilliant blue cover dead blooms and wiry stalks.
If you pluck one Christian from the body of Christ, you’ll see beauty…but you’ll notice weakness, “spent” areas…pasts. When Christians unite, however, oh, what beauty to behold! Where one is weak, ten more are strong! Together, we accomplish far more than we do individually.
I can’t help but to think about the healing that would take place in the body of Christ, the church, if we could really see the beauty in unity.
Imagine God’s pleasure as He looks upon His church. Do we want Him so see only our own vibrance, or do we want Him to see field after field of rolling vibrancy?
Of course, we want to be noticed, individually. We want to be “picked” for that bouquet of choice blooms. We are called. We are chosen. Why should we expect anything less, right?
Unity is NOT less.
How long does that cut arrangement last, anyway?
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.
- Psalm 133
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the LORD forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.