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Royalty in technicolor

February 20, 2015
Queen Anne's Lace. Queen Anne is a than I had imagined...

Queen Anne’s Lace. If that’s Queen Anne, she’s a little…um…leggier than I imagined…

Queen Anne’s Lace is abundant where I grew up in southeastern Ohio.  It grows by the roadsides.  It grows in pastures.  It grows in fields and meadows.

It grows everywhere.  Even if you don’t want it to.

The field beside the house in which I grew up had tons of Queen Anne’s Lace.  As common as it was, I always thought it was beautiful with its lacy head of wispy flowers.

But my mom showed us that not only was it beautiful, it was educational and entertaining.  And a little magical.

Every now and then in the summer she would send us out to pick some Queen Anne’s Lace.  In reality, it was probably a way to get us out of her hair for ten minutes so she wouldn’t have to listen to the common refrain of “I’m boooored…” and “there’s nothing to doooo…”, both of which were risky declarations because she usually immediately threatened offered to help us find something to do.

Note:  Listen, kids…when your mom tells you that she can give you something to do, you’d better go find a way to be bored away from her eyesight and out of her earshot.  Unless you like scrubbing the tub or cleaning your room, that is.

We would trounce back into the house with our hands full of Queen Anne’s Lace.  It was almost certainly full of riders similar to the one in the photo above, but if mom found any she never made a fuss.  She wasn’t really squeamish about bugs any way.

She filled several jars with water and placed them on the kitchen counter.  And then came the fun part:  in each jar she would place a few drops of food coloring.  The flowers were divided up and placed in the jars.  Then we had to wait.

But we weren’t bored.  I just want to make that clear.  Not bored at all.  No need to find anything for us to do, thanks.

After an hour or two the magic appeared:  our white lace flowers began turning the same color as the water they were sitting in!  Ta-da!

We thought it was the coolest thing since air-conditioning, something we didn’t have during the dog days of summer in the oppressive Ohio Valley heat and humidity.

Back then it was a neato little lesson, watching those white flowers suck up the colored water until they themselves took on the color they’d been drinking.  But now I think about what a clear demonstration it is of how we begin to reflect what we absorb.

What you decide to feed your heart and mind really matters.

Focus on negative things and you will eventually find yourself jaded, embittered, depressed, critical, and suspicious, with hope and joy becoming scarce commodities in your life.  If you find yourself described with any of those words, you may need to see about soaking yourself a cleaner jar of water.  You only get one life, and that’s just not a nice way to spend it.

Honestly, it’s harder work to focus on that which is good, kind, truthful, peaceful, hopeful, joyous, and life-giving.  That stuff doesn’t sell news like acts of terrorism and mindless celebrity drivel.  You have to search it out yourself and then give it a place of honor in your thinking and your worldview.  It won’t happen accidentally.

But just wait until you see what incredible color you’ll bring to the world when you choose to soak up outrageous hope and joy until you get all sloshy and people accuse you of not keeping your head in the “real world”.  You will laugh in Kodachrome.

It will be glorious.



photo credit: <a href=”″>Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota)</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>(license)</a&gt;



7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 20, 2015 7:11 am

    My Grandma and I did the same thing! I love Queen Anne’s lace (and the fact that it reminds me of her – like almost everything I love :) ) – I still pick “bouquets” of it in the summer and put in mason jars on the porch, kitchen table, anywhere! Thanks for the smile.

    • February 20, 2015 10:14 am

      Queen Anne’s Lace was made for mason jars, wasn’t it? Somehow, it’s absolutely perfect in them.

  2. February 20, 2015 10:21 am

    Was just talking to Abba about murky water and wanting something different. Thank you x

    • February 20, 2015 10:35 am

      Oh…I am quite sure He’s all over that conversation! He LOVES that conversation, especially if it comes with permission!

  3. February 20, 2015 10:12 pm

    Queen Anne’s lace doesn’t grow wild here we have to plant it and I have it planted all over my yard as climbers on my fence and porch. I love it. And I loved this post!

    • February 20, 2015 11:36 pm

      It’s weird to think of planting it, but it would be totally worth it!

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