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For several weeks, tiger lilies have been blooming. Talk of the Town, a popular species in our neighborhood, flourishes along fences and side gardens. Morning breezes excite their six-sculpted petals trembling with stamens and pistils; their orangeness ushers in summer’s brash colors.

Tiger lilies have been around for a long time. Tenth-century Chinese literature describes them planted in rows and cultivated for herbs and food. They also appear in the 1753 Species Plantarum, by Carl Linnaeus, Swedish botanist, zoologist, and physician, and one of the fathers of modern ecology.

And in 1804, William Kerr traveled to Canton, China, and brought tiger lilies to Britain for the formal gardens of country estates, and from there, to they came America.

Looking deeper, we find this ordinary perennial rooted within the mystery of life and death. We, too, have a similar rootedness. How many springs have we experienced, only to move into still another summer, followed by autumn, and winter? Only to be restored, once again, by the fresh orangeness of tiger lilies glistening with morning dew.

 

 

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The tiger lilies are back, lining fences, adorning ditches, and tangling in humid breezes. In our neighborhood, Talk of the Town, flourishes; from their deep centers emerge six stamens, a pistil, and soft yellow lines on each of the six petals. Such orangeness ushers in the deeper colors of summer: gold, scarlet, peach, raspberry, and indigo.

So ordinary, the tiger lily thrives in both cultivated and wild regions around the world, its rootedness within the mystery of death and rebirth. We have a similar rootedness. How many springs have we experienced, only to move into still another summer, followed by autumn, and winter? Only to be restored, again, our spirits filled with new oranges glistening with dew?

On a lighter note … It was a June morning, long ago, and hot. As very young nun, I was asked to arrange flowers in the refectory to honor the visit of our new Vicar. After pinning up my skirts, I meandered through the dense woods surrounding our limestone stone convent. Near the creek bed bloomed a profusion of long-stemmed orange flowers. Breathless with my discovery, I cut armfuls, hurried inside, painstakingly placed them in vases, and set them on refectory tables. Excitement tore through me. Certainly I would win the approval of my superior and the other nuns. That evening, following spiritual reading, everyone processed to the refectory for supper. Titterserupted. It was about those orange flowers. They had morphed into dark knobs.

 

 

 

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Tiger lilies are beginning to bloom. Talk of the Town, a popular species in our neighborhood, flourish along fences and side gardens. Morning breezes excite their six-sculpted petals trembling with stamens and pistils; their orangeness ushers in summer’s brash colors.

Did you know that tiger lilies have been around for a long time? Tenth-century Chinese literature describes them planted in rows and cultivated for herbs and food. They also appear in the 1753 Species Plantarum, by Carl Linnaeus, Swedish botanist, zoologist, and physician, and one of the fathers of modern ecology.

And in 1804, William Kerr traveled to Canton, China, and brought tiger lilies to Britain for the formal gardens of country estates, and from there, to America.

Looking deeper, we find this ordinary perennial rooted within the mystery of life and death. We, too, have a similar rootedness. How many springs have we experienced, only to move into still another summer, followed by autumn, and winter? Only to be restored, once again, by the fresh orangeness of tiger lilies glistening with morning dew?

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