Spiritual Bouquet

NaPoWriMo Day 11 is playing with the language of flowers. This Victorian practice was not new to me. I had researched flower meanings when we were planning our wedding. At first, I thought to revisit that very happy day back in 2016 before the world began to darken. That first effort limped to a halt.

My second effort is a prayer really. I am not a religious person, but religious symbolism is not lost on those who have had a pious upbringing. This morning my thoughts turned to our lane’s Marian shrine and holy well, which I visit every day for mine and the dog’s daily exercise. (https://sojourningsmith.blog/2020/04/02/2500-steps-my-daily-walk/).

Marian Shrine Ireland
Tobar Mhuire in Co. Cavan, Ireland

Tonight, in Ireland, there is a movement to light a candle in solidarity for our health workers. This seems more urgent than ever in the Republic, where 26% of all Covid-19 infections are exposed health workers. This has been underlined with the news story that seventy doctors and nurses at Cavan General Hospital have tested positive. Four wards are closed. Essentially, the regional hospital is locked down to all but those with Covid-19.

Later today I will leave a battery powered candle and some flowers at the holy well. And some flowers. That’s the plan at least.

For those who are a bit resistant to the idea of a poem as a prayer, I refer you to Samuel Beckett. We may leave behind all ritual, but poetry writers never can completely leave behind the ritual words, the incantations, or sheer theatre of our soulful articulation.

All poetry is prayer
Spiritual Bouquet
 
Let the flowers signal my prayer,
my garden offering a spiritual bouquet
placed at the shrine beside our roadway.
 
Daffodils make a brighter resurrection
than pure lily, remote, but for its pollen
staining the unwary one’s  reputation.
 
Bolster them with fragrant hyacinth –
purple for these most earnest entreaties,
white to light this current labyrinth.
 
We have tulips! We can add those to the above.
Purple – again – brings abundant blessings.
Red signals Love’s divine perfection.
 
Grant us now – please – for I speak of
the sick, the scared, the lonely and lost
for want of care and kindness and love.
 
Grant us – please – a new beginning.
And comfort us as we grieve the losses
of all our world’s underpinnings.
 
Tulip, hyacinth, daffodil –
these are what I can offer now
while our world is at a standstill.
 
And thank you for your unwavering maternal love.
Here's a posy. A prayer. A spiritual bouquet.
At roadside shrine this Holy Saturday.
 
Copyright © Bee Smith, 2020. All rights reserved.
Marian shrine holywell Ireland
Tobar Mhuire, Mary’s Well, Dowra, Co. Cavan
Holy Well Ireland

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