Image     As my eye follows the line in the middle of the road, my peripheral vision catches the beauty of wild flowers along the roadside.  I look to the right and I see nothing but wildflowers making a statement for all to see. Mountaineer Country and Virginia’s untouched beauty shared by passers by could include Buttercups, Black-Eyed Susan’s, Dandelion’s, Day-Lillies and the wild carrot, also known as Queen Anne’s Lace.

     While walking the canal walk along the James River in Richmond, I caught a glimpse of this creamy, off-white color flower. I snapped a shot of a patch of this lacy looking flower and then I noticed one floral stem standing off in a distance away from the array of lace. This flower was growing along the river, directly under the railroad tracks, among the weeds. At the time, I didn’t know what type of flower I had just taken a picture of; but once I had googled the image, Queen Anne’s Lace was the matching wild weed.

     Although it is generally considered a wild weed, Queen Anne’s Lace has positive uses and is beneficial in the garden and yard. This wild weed fertilizes the soil, acts as shelter or a living mulch, increases moisture, repels pests while also attracting useful insects and can be used as food or other herbal resources. One of her unique qualities is there can be a simultaneous array of blossoming as she starts from a bud, to a wide-open flower, then to an umbrella shape and finally, closing up to make a tight, nest-like shape where seeds are formed. She belongs to the same family as the carrot and her roots even smell like carrots. She can be found along highways, bike trails, fields and along river banks, much like where I found this particular wild one.

     The legend behind the beautiful name states that Queen Anne, the wife of King James I, was challenged to create a lace as beautiful as a flower. While she was making the lace, her finger was pricked, and a drop of blood dripped onto the lace. If you look closely, this wild flower has a purple-red flower in the center of the lace, which supposedly, represents the blood droplet.

     As I look upon this ordinary and seemingly, unnoticed wild weed growing along a riverbank underneath a railroad track, I can’t help but realize how we can relate to this overlooked flower.

     At times, we all feel neglected, unnoticed, over-looked, pushed aside, unconsidered, ignored and unremembered…much like a wild flower growing along a riverbank. It’s our human nature to compare ourselves to others, want more, be more and feel worthy. But, much like a Queen Anne’s Lace, we sometimes live unnoticed. We live in a modest house, on a common street, in an ordinary neighborhood. We work overtime, feel underpaid and unappreciated and then wake up the next morning to do it all over again. Life seems much like a wild flower along the highway; quickly passed by with no regard to its beauty.

     May we trust and know God sees where we are and realize there is a purpose to where we are planted. May we all be like the Queen Anne’s Lace and be content with our God-given surroundings and use it to Glorify Him. May we use our lives and talents, no matter how ordinary, to bring beauty to those we pass by each day.  May we all Bloom where we are Planted!

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