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Homilies: “When you look at a daffodil there are lots of things you notice (and you can ask and get responses.)

When you look at a daffodil there are lots of things you notice (and you can ask and get responses.) Almost no one ever notices the little withered brown bit at the base of the flower.

But it's really important. When the daffodils come up the ground is still pretty hard and there is sometimes cold and snow. So at first the daffodils have a tough green skin protecting their blossoms. After it gets warmer, the daffodil doesn't need this protection, and it shrivels and dies. Often in our lives, just as for the daffodil, some part of us has to shrivel up and die so that some new part of us can grow and give beauty to the world. Oddly enough, though, the dead shriveled up part of a daffodil doesn't fall away.

There are two things we can learn from a daffodil, to help ourselves and each other:

  • We can be brave and wise enough, when the right time comes to push out from under the tough skins of our souls that protect us from all that is hard and harsh, that can damage the more fragile parts of our self. We can let some parts of ourselves die so that new parts of ourselves can live in beauty.
  • We can hold on to the shriveled up dead bits, especially if doing so helps us remember to honor and value all parts of our selves, all parts of our experience. Just because we don't need that part or that way of being in the world now, doesn't mean that part has no value. It was very necessary to have that protection then and very good to remember and appreciate it now.

Copyright: The author has given Unitarian Universalist Association member congregations permission to reprint this piece for use in public worship. Any reprints must acknowledge the name of the author.

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Last updated on Wednesday, April 10, 2013.

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