One of the common wildflowers that marks our entry into summer is Queen Anne’s lace. This is a field flower often appearing on the roadside or in open meadows. It is also called wild carrot and bird’s nest, the latter title probably because of its shape after the blossoms have faded. It is a member of the parsley family. Britain’s Queen Anne (Boleyn) was an expert lace maker. However, even she must have pricked her finger at one point. The red or purple dot in the middle of the white floral umbral represents the blood that resulted from this action.
The Queen Anne’s lace that grows in large clusters across our meadows represents sanctuary, safety and refuge, thoughts which may have occurred to Anne Boleyn. The real Queen Anne’s lace should not be confused with false Queen Anne’s lace, its poison hemlock look-alike.
Regardless of its history and whether you consider it a weed or a joyful occurrence, I look forward to its appearance every year. In the south, it blooms in June. Farther north it blooms later in the summer, often with the black-eyed Susans that are now sprinkled across our fields.
I find its form, it’s various stages of blossom revealing and beautiful. In its bud form, it is spikey. When it first spreads out its umbral of flowers, it is small. But it is the large umbrellas of white flowers that catch the breeze and my eye. Later in the summer, after it has bloomed, the crown of flowers curls up on itself, creating a great nest for hummingbirds or chickadees.
I don’t have any deep thoughts about this flower. I just appreciate it for the beauty it lends to the surrounding landscapes. One of my favorite vistas is an open field. And perhaps this is the lesson of the heart and spirit. Some of the most common natural things and people are truly beautiful in their place in God’s kingdom. Something we can all learn to appreciate along the way to our eternal home, where we are the common and God is seen in His full majesty.
“All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.”
Jude 1:25 NLT