Wednesday, November 18, 2009


photo courtesy of Babs Young, Eastport, Michigan

I have a friend who is an amazing photographer. She took this photo of the beautiful and mysterious milkweed plant and I wanted to share it with you. These wondrous plants grow in abundance where I live and I see them every day as I take my walk. I see them as they sprout up in the spring and grow and produce green pods that look full of life but then they just sit there for the longest time. Then, after the fall is well on its way, the pods dry out, turn brown and then BURST open releasing hundreds of seeds propelled on the wind by their little plumes of fluff. Like dandelions, the fluff gets scattered far and wide allowing the seeds to land all over the meadows and fields to begin a new life as they burrow into the ground, hibernating through the winter waiting for the warm wet weather of spring or summer so they can grow again.

But when they seem to be "just sitting there", they are providing lots of food for insects like bees and butterflies. In fact, the Monarch butterfly lays its eggs on this plant, the caterpillar makes his chrysalis on this plant, and the butterfly is born on this plant! Its Latin genus is named after the Greek god of healing, Aesclepius and indeed many folk cures are made from it.

It really is such a wonderful plant and is a great one to meditate on. How is this plant like we are? What has to crack open in us to release our seeds of new growth? Can we be as patient as this marvel of the plant kingdom waiting to mature and burst forth with our ideas, creativity, gifts? Where are you as it relates to the cycle of the milkweed?


  1. What a beautiful and thought-provoking piece on this little mystery of nature.

    In an article I wrote recently, I hailed the lessons nature teaches us and here you are, finding such inspiration in the milkweed plant.

    If my rebellious streak were to crack, maybe I'd be more inclined to rise from my comfort zone and step out of my "stubborn" box. Then, who knows what adventures may be waiting.

  2. Ah Cheryl, we are so alike! Thankfully my rebellious streak has been tamed a bit over time but the stubbornness is still a challenge! But you are right....nature teaches us all the lessons we need to learn if we but look and listen! Thanks for your thoughtful comment! xo

  3. Some days I am the seed, sitting on the ground, waiting for the opportunity to grow. Other times I'm the lush green plant, sitting there with my light and knowledge just waiting for the right time. On still other days I'm bursting. Things are inside wanting to come out so fast I grab pen and paper and start writing, start sharing, living. And on rare occasions, I'm the brown, dried empty shell resting, waiting to be renewed and re-join the cycle of Life. Wonderful thought provoking post. And I agree it's an amazing photo.
    I want to thank you so very much for the color cards. They are right on for each day. I will enjoy them immensely. Thank you again. Blessings to you and yours. Love and Light, Nina P

  4. Diantha, what a beautiful post and for me a meditation on places I have lived. It made me remember living in beautiful Michigan, where the milkweed grew so abundantly, but being so wrapped up in personal problems that I hardly noticed. Then we moved to the New Mexico mountains where we didn't only have milkweed around our house, but where the monarch butterflies came to perform their transformation from beautiful caterpillar to stunning butterfly. I don't remember ever having seen more exquisite cocoons - bright green with flecks of gold. That all happened while I was making my own cocoon for my own transformation. I finally now feel like I'm breaking out of that ready to fly... Thank you for this post!! Hugs, Silke

  5. Ah Nina, I feel so much the same. Seems some days I am all stages at once! And I am so glad you are enjoying the cards and finding the value in them! Blessings to you, sweet sister.

    Silke, you always add such heartfelt comments here. You remind me of times I was so wrapped up in my troubles I could not look outside myself for inspiration or guidance. And of other times when nature inspired me to either cocoon, or grow, or go for it! And you are welcome for this post! Thanks for commenting! xo

  6. Nature has indeed a wonderful way to show us what is possible. The abundance is immense and such a contrast to our manufactured sense of lack.
    I am starting to see what is possible, I start to see what abundance there is if you care to look. That is where I am at and I am keeping my eyes wide open to learn from nature.
    It has everything I strive for, beauty, abundance, flow and trust.
    Love Wilma

  7. Wilma you are so right on! Thank you for a very thoughtful enriching comment! xo

  8. Patience and faith, that is what I see in nature. There is always endless possibility and never any doubt.
    I am learning to trust that things will turn out, learning to lead from the heart, learning to have all the beauty and abundance that exists in nature show up in my life. And like nature, I'm not going it alone, I have sponsorship. Hugs to you

  9. Annmarie, I love that you see patience and faith in nature and your words "endless possibility and never any doubt" are so inspiring! Your observation that we all, like nature, have "sponsorship" is also such a huge gift. Hugs back!

  10. I use to love to open them up as a child and slowly pick out the insides and let them blow away. So calming and soothing to the soul. That is a gorgeous photo!

  11. I love your last paragraph. I need lots of patience and acceptance of what is. Thereafter, I am usually most loving and creative.

  12. Oh Kathy, I used to do the same thing! They were SO SOFT and sometimes sticky with the milk. I've always loved the milkweed. I'll tell Babs you liked her photo!

    Mermaid, Yes, I am working on patience and acceptance as well! Once we have that knocked out it becomes easier doesn't it! I do have to say it seems to be getting a lot easier the older I get! So there IS some up side to aging!

  13. Wow what a beautiful photo and we had milkweeds all over the farm and we had so much fun with them. I had no idea what else was going on with nature!

    What needs to crack open in me? Trust.
    I need to be more patient with technology. Augghhh!

  14. Oh Tess, I need more patience with technology too! It sometimes seems as if I'll never catch up with it! I'm glad you enjoyed your milkweeds so much! They are so playful! xo


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