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LAVENDER FIELD PANSY Viola emarginata

Let us take a moment to reflect on Psalm 119:27, “Make me understand the way of Thy precepts, so I will meditate on Thy wonders.” The Genesis account of creation profoundly states mankind is made in the image of God. Yet no two of us are identical. Each of us are influenced by our environment in unique ways. We view the world and respond to the Creator in unique ways conditioned by scores of influences and personal experiences.

Suppose that the wildflower world was planned by God to remind us of the vast differences that exist about us. Ironically, we seem to accept that diversity in nature but then struggle with diversity among our fellow humans. To be made in the image of God means the capacity to discern right from wrong, to feel pangs of guilt, to turn back and find forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Then we soar to the full image of God as we freely worship and commune with our Creator.

A friend of mine once told of his mother taking him aside one day as a lad. She strictly rebuked him for something he said about another boy. “Son, he was made in the image of God, just as you were. That means God loves him as much as He loves you. When you put him down, you are insulting God.” The basis of all the precepts of God is this profound truth.

When spring arrived there are many tiny blooms all around us. Because they were small, it was easy to overlook them. Most of them live close to the ground. Early in the season their stems are short but as spring develops some will emerge with longer stems. The wildflower for today is an early bloomer but when the habitat is right may be seen in June.

LAVENDER FIELD PANSY

Viola emarginata

This field pansy is in the violet family, of which there are about 20 varieties that grow in Georgia’s fields, lawns and gardens. However, it is the only one of the 20 that is an annual. It is tiny and when it rains it turns its blossom downward, making it much harder to see.

The light lavender flowers measure 1/2 inch wide. The bottom petal often folds along the center vein. The center of the bloom is a pale yellow with sharply contrasting purple lines radiating from the center. These streaks remind me of a cat’s whiskers.

The pale green leaves occur in clusters along the 6-inch stem. Two dominant opposite leaves emerge, followed shortly by thin leaflets. From the clusters the inch-long spike that holds the bloom forms. Other blooms sprout from these clusters in a sporadic sequence. It is rare to see two blooms from a cluster at the same time.

Field pansies begin to appear in late February or March depending on the warmth of the weather. They will continue through into June near creek banks.

May this day bring you many blessings as you continue your journey of faith. May you reflect the love of God toward all. Remember the advice of my friend’s mother, “When you put him down, you are insulting God.”

Orrin Morris is a retired Baptist minister, local artist and art teacher. To purchase a two-volume set of books featuring his wildflower columns, visit The Sketching Pad in Olde Town Conyers, or call 770-929-3697 or text 404-824-3697. Email him at odmsketchingpad@yahoo.com.

Editor

I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.