Following this, when I tried to scramble for a memory, none of them felt right. I think I was trying too hard. Just a few minutes ago, after eating a picnic lunch outside in the ridiculously unusual English weather, sun beating down on my head, a few celandines caught my eye...
This immediately took me back to a truly unforgettable memory for me. My fingers instantly started weaving, punching holes and posting more celandines through each other until ta-dah! I had a Celandi-Chain (Is that a word? It is now.....)
As I sat there, gently, absentmindedly creating my childhood head garland, my mind wandered back to when I first learnt about Celandines. It was once again, a sunny spring day when I was 5, and my extended family and I were wandering down a village path to a small church. There were plants and weeds jumping out from every crack in the pavement and cobbled wall that they could. Being my true self, flowers were, as ever, of utmost importance. And this gleaming yellow flower, beckoning my eye to catch it's light, immediately made me burst out - 'BUTTERCUPS! Look, Mummy. Bapu, come here! It's nearly summer!!' Such innocent excitement. Bapu (my Grandpa.....it came from my cousin's interesting first attempt to say Grandpa!) knelt over next to me with an 'oof' and said - 'Ah, Sarah, you've not found a buttercup there. It's not quite summer yet. That's a celandine that's caught your attention!' After letting out a few bemused looks, a shy little smile came across my face and I exclaimed - 'Is it like a buttercup, just this is spring's one, and summer gets to have the normal buttercups?'
'Well, nearly,' said Bapu, 'it's just that if you look really, really closely, you can see that the celandines have more petals, and they're more pointed. Buttercups are rounded, more "cup" shaped like their name suggests!' He laughed a gentle but hearty chuckle and pulled himself up with another 'oof'. Off I ran with a wide smile on my face, burst into a conversation and said - 'Mummy, mummy! Look I've found a CELANDINE!' More smiles. And more hearty chuckles ring in my ears, even now, as if it were yesterday.
A few months later, Bapu passed away, and I decided that whenever I saw a celandine, I would think of him. And more than ten years later, I still do. It's a beautiful, ongoing memory for me. I love the way that the yellow gleams with the shiny, inner layer it holds on it's magnificent petals, subtly reflecting the sun's beam.
Perhaps there's a metaphor in there for us to learn from...How can we be active, attention-grabbing, gentle and spring-ful reflectors of our Son, Jesus Christ's powerful beam of light? Do we remember to ask the Spirit to fill us up with His graceful, beautiful, transforming presence so that we can have a layer that gleams inside of us? Because it's real and powerful - 'You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you' - Acts 1:8.
Have a great day!
And notice the celandines next time you go outside - maybe they can be a reminder for you to ask the Holy Spirit to fill you up.
P.S. I've just come back from a lovely couple of days by the sea, so sorry this is late, but remember today's OPERATION SPEAK OUT! (See blog post below...)