[I’m opening this post with a quote from D.E. Stevenson‘s Winter and Rough Weather (also published as Shoulder the Sky), sequel to Music in the Hills… because I hear His Voice echoing through time in them...and maybe you will too.]
“She had a whole day before her, a whole empty day. She was sitting and thinking about it — and wondering if she would ever get used to it — when a tiny flower fell on to her plate.
This was no miracle of course, the explanation was simple, Rhoda had picked some sprays of viburnum fragans in the kitchen garden. She had gone out yesterday and been beguiled by the tiny pink flowers growing upon the black leafless twigs. She had brought them in and arranged them in a bowl and placed them in the middle of the table — there was no more to it than that.
Rhoda was about to brush the flower from her plate when suddenly the perfection of it struck her… one tiny flower-head but quite perfect. It was so small and insignificant that she herself who had picked the sprays and arranged them (and incidentally prided herself somewhat upon her percipience) had not noticed the beauty of it. As all artists, Rhoda looked for beauty – but she had been bold in her painting, she had gone for effect, she had not thought of looking for beauty in so small and insignificant thing, which, to be properly appreciated, required the aid of a magnifying glass.
Of course Rhoda had certain duties to accomplish (she could not sit and look at a tiny flower-head all morning) but, although she moved about and made the bed and talked to the cook about the food, the thought of the small insignificant thing with it’s perfection of beauty remained with her and gave her happiness.
The floweret had dropped on to her plate. Look, it said. Here I am — and there are millions like me — and each one of us is perfect — perfectly beautiful. Here’s your world. It’s full of beauty. Be happy in it.
…Taking up the bowl of viburnum fragrans, she carried it upstairs to her (painting) studio. Her fingers had begun to tingle…”
Percipient: readily capable of perceiving, someone who perceives, having perception, discriminating, having appreciation
Oh these words I’m coming across in D.E. Stevenson books! She sprinkles them there so naturally, like jeweled flavor drops that melt in your mouth!
Like variegated seashells of rainbow hues and scalloped edges hiding here, there along the shore…just waiting to be picked up and held close.
I wonder – did Miss Dorothy Emily speak the way she wrote? Were these words once so light on the tongue in everyday?
Sadly, I’ve often felt much like one of her characters expresses in Winter and Rough Weather when it comes to vocabulary:
“Of course she’s lived here for years and years, ever since she was married, bu she still speaks with a slight accent especially when she gets excited or very interested in what she’s saying. The odd thing is she really speaks English better than we do. I mean she seems to find the right word.” Mamie sighed and added, “I never can. I mean even if I know the right word to use I can’t use it.”
“Why?” asked Rhoda.
“It seems so stuck up to use long words,” explained Mamie.
And suddenly — I’m feeling rebellious to this thought that has held those reading lovers of us all captive for much too long. It goes back to worrying what peers think and wanting to fit in, doesn’t it? Perhaps it is being – stuck up – not to use them! To throw them away, like blossoms when they fall…
So today… I’m gazing at tiny blue forget-me- nots in a lovely little English Garden arrangement pot on my porch… and thinking of Rhoda finding heart-striking beauty in her tiny pink virburum fragans (love that name too, nearly conjures up the fragrance doesn’t it?)… and ruminating…
Let us find treasure in our percipience 🙂 and look for spots of stillness on this Saturday /Sunday to just breathe in the fragrance of the Master Artist… really look at the flowerlets of tiny joy He is dropping onto our plates.
For, ‘ there are millions like them — and each one…is perfect — perfectly beautiful.’ Each one telling us, just as to D.E.’s Rhoda in 1951, (who I suspect was D.E. herself)… “Here’s your world. It’s full of beauty. Be happy in it.”
As He has made us all artists after His own heart, given artist eye as inheritance, let us recognize the Holy Spirit tingle in our hands and ask Him to pour His beauty through them!
And today… I’m adding a new post category here too… of Forget-me-not Words… 🙂
Because…I’m realizing…not only have I too long abandoned them in speech, but also in writing… till they have been forgotten… and there is something in gentleness and eloquence about them that I think, should not be misplaced…
Do you have any words of such too often forgotten ‘flower’ (or seashell! 🙂 ) kind as percipience that you especially love? Share them in my comments!
Think about things that are pure and lovely,
and dwell on the fine, good things in others.
Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.
~ Phil 4:8
© Pam Depoyan
Sharing with: Sunday Stillness with Janis Cox
photos: mine, except for the solo blue forget me not, dreamtime stock