Are you familiar with the saying “Bloom where you are planted”? Maybe blooming where you have NOT been planted is an idea worth pursuing.

Native wildflowers and trees are blooming now, and most often where they were not planted since they are NATIVES! What does that mean? Native plants are ones that occur within a region as the result of natural processes rather than human intervention. Since they evolved in a region, they are aligned with it and are more beneficial to the Earth community than non-natives, called exotics, which often require fertilizing and lots of watering. Natives serve wildlife with nectar, seeds and nuts, since they evolved together. They are essential to a healthy ecosystem.

Think about yourself. Do you live like a native or an exotic? Native plants and trees can teach us how to live sustainably and gently on Earth. They model for us what it means to improve life by our very being and to live in scale with our surroundings. Natives remind us to give back to Earth and not take more than our share of Earth’s goodness. Natives encourage us to be humble rather than showy, with a special kind of natural beauty.

For a meditation this Lent, spend time with a flowering dogwood or redbud, with Dutchman’s breeches, harbinger of spring, or Virginia bluebells. May natives us teach us about living with dignity as integral members of Earth’s amazing community of life.

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