The Coronavirus Diary of a Joyous Pustinik — 28


Christ is Risen!


I had a lovely surprise this morning. One of my Parishioners brought me a beautiful bunch of wildflowers; amongst them lots of Ox-eye Daisies, together with a number of “Lockdown goodies” as she describes them, one of which was another kind of flower-flour! Indeed, the English word flour is originally a variant of the word flower both words deriving from the French word fleur. At last, I can bake some bread! The wildflowers now supplement the cultivated ones the sisters brought me some weeks ago.

It reminded me of when I was in a village in Romania and a kind gentleman presented me with a huge bunch of wildflowers which he had picked. The amount, the richness and variety were amazing. I remember too visiting a hermitage where the monk was turning over the soil to bring to life the seeds which had lain dormant for so many years.

 My spiritual father when he lived near Cambridge had a large garden. He gave a large portion of it over to a meadow for sowing seeds of wildflowers. The result was a heartwarming profusion of colour: Meadow Buttercups, Cowslips, Dandelion Ragged Robin, Red Campion, Yarrow, Poppy, Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Evening Primrose, Vipers Bugloss, and of course, Forget-me-not.

As if I could?


These Island nations each have a flower which is often found as an emblem appearing on crests, coins, and flags. The national flower of Ireland is the shamrock (which is technically a plant), while Scotland’s national flower is the Thistle. Wales’ national flower is the bright yellow Daffodil. England has the Red Rose( as does Lancashire!)


A Garden in Harston*


John 12:24:  Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.”


Autumn’s gentle dying and sighing into aspiring worth

Witnesses the gold leaves fall to carpet, as a covering for sin, the soft green earth.

What rich abundance there is in God’s economy!

Mellow fruits and flowers are wrapped in finest robes for God’s glory.

No harsh light to pierce the eyes of the tiredness of our soul,

Only the fresh glow of holy breath to make broken bodies whole:

Until God’s flora rests in winter’s death.


Here in the seasoned wisdom of third age flowers

The seeds of resurrection are stored for many hours,

Until that explosion of the third-day tomb;

God’s radiance warms the ground of that stone-cold womb.

In dappled light, in a garden in Harston, at hand is Son blessed soil.

We share the joy of those who labour there and wait on God with love and toil:

For new growth in God’s garden.


In weeding and turning of man’s substance is revealed new seeds

Which grow into new plants of scent and colour through holy deeds.

Sweet Mill View where, often unseen by human eye, the wheel of Life is turned,

Where through careful stewardship, the labourer’s pay is earned.

A dialogue with heaven is found and a covenant made long ago

In another garden secretly comes in time to grow:

Into that spring beauty of New Life.


“The more resolutely, the more constantly, your heart is turned towards God and His saints the more it will be enlightened, purified, and vivified.” St. John of Kronstadt.

* Harston is a village near Cambridge, England.

* Photography by Amit Das

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