... in artichokes

Published on 24 Jul 2017

I have an allotment. Reluctant to go indoors after a troubled and weary day, I meandered round the whole site in the mild late evening admiring the verdant growth everywhere. I marvelled at the colours of over-blown blooms and smelt the sweetness of sweet peas; I listened to the birds settling for the night and watched plots darken under the crawling shadow of the setting sun. 

My thoughts were as languorous as the sound of the bees gathering the last of the warm nectar but a particular globe artichoke caught my eye. Circumnavigating the site once more I found other species, each globe as intricate and as beautiful as the last. Their leathery leaves ending in ferocious spikes hid such a delicate succulent foot, each sprouting from an exquisite fleshy base fiercely protected by the ‘choke’.

Artichokes in different stages

The complexity of their construction and their variety reminded me of the complexity and variety of the men and women I had been with that day in the Old Folks’ Home. Amidst the dementia and infirmity I had to remember all were complex, intricate and beautiful despite outward appearances; all were marvels of God’s creation. These thoughts quietened my soul and with renewed purpose I went home.