Pasqueflowers are truly a welcome sight when they first appear in the foothills during March, for they indicate the long-awaited arrival of Spring. Pushing their purple, tulip-like blooms through the brown expanse of a winter meadow before any other plants appear - and long before even their own leaves venture forth, Pasqueflowers embody the qualities of courage, stamina and beauty.
Several adaptations allow these members of the buttercup family to appear so early in the season. First, a hollow stem enables each flower to concentrate its own metabolic heat, thereby helping warm the plant during the chill of a March day. Thick, fuzzy hairs also work to conserve heat when winds would suck much of it away. Whenever clouds arrive or the sun begins to set, Pasqueflowers close their petals - crocus-like - thereby providing added warmth and creating protection against the sudden rain- and snow-storms so typical of early Spring in the Rockies. Finally, Pasqueflower blooms have a tendency to follow the sun throughout the day, thus contributing additional heat, making them an attractive shelter for a whole host of insects.
Mirroring our own inner life, Pasqueflowers teach us to bloom courageously even when everything around us seems dead, wintry, and devoid of inspiration. They also instruct us to concentrate our spiritual creativity, passion and energy rather than dissipate ourselves across a welter of external circumstances and distractions. Embodying a wise introversion that puts us in touch with the same Ground of Being out of which the wisdom of every other creature also springs, Pasqueflowers offer valuable lessons for surviving the craziness of a life lived in modern society.
Photo: Pasqueflowers in the snow, Lory State Park, CO, March 17, 2016
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Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.