03 July 2012

Put it in its place

I removed the color from this photograph for a reason.  I wanted the eye to fall not on the flower but on the seed head sans seeds.  But, yes, the flower is yellow.

Yesterday it was the flower that slowed me down on my circuit through Orchard Estates, a stalled subdivision near the local country club. There are lots of yellow flowers along the way, but only a few with petals like this one.  I made several photographs to detail the flower, seed head and leaves in hopes I could identify it beyond the term "dandelion-like."  And, I kept walking.  Breakfast was waiting.

I am disappointed that it does not appear in my wildflower guide.  I am frustrated by the whole identification thing.  I was so busy thinking about getting that flower named that I missed that the seed head itself is an intriguing and beautiful structure.  I am sad that when I returned this morning to give the seed head attention of its own it was gone.

For all my wanting to put this flower in its place, or the place where we humans have put it, I failed to see what was before me.  But, it's what we do.  Whoever wrote Genesis knew that, proclaiming the idea that God told us to name things.  My vocabulary is full of it ... categorize, sort, classify, identify, group, name, rank, arrange, order, catalog, organize, file.

I know how important the process of arranging things is.  Life would turn pretty chaotic pretty fast without some sort of organizing.  And, I do enjoy being able to name flowers and birds.  But, what is the point of categorizing, classifying, cataloging?  To know?  To understand?  To find meaning?  In part.  I suspect it's also to keep ourselves feeling safe and in control and superior (likely a primary point of the Genesis story).

I am sorry to have missed admiring that seed head.  I'd like to be less intent on putting the next thing in its place.  I hope I'll be able to let myself linger awhile and admire what I'm seeing.

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