Alpine Balsam

This rather pleasant little clump of flowers is as pretty as its name- Alpine Balsam. This is the kind of phrase a manufacturer of air fresheners or fabric conditioner might employ, with suitable stock images of Swiss chalets and pine trees on steep slopes under clear blue skies. I am not sure that mountain air has a particular aroma, but I imagine it is certainly cleaner and crisper than some of our lowlands, especially ones through which trunk roads run or industry is based. Walk down Colne’s North Valley Road on a weekday morning, and you’ll be coughing and wheezing after a hundred yards.

Preachers often allude to mountaintops when describing those times of particular blessing and revelation, supported by such hymns as Higher Ground. In Song of Songs, the Shulamite beholds her Beloved as a deer on the slopes:

Make haste, my beloved,

And be like a gazelle

Or a young stag

On the mountains of spices.

Whether we be in the valley or among the summits, may the freshness and savour of the Lord Jesus waft down our way, a balsam that truly revives and invigorates.