Black-eyed Susan

This is Black-eyed Susan. It is a gorgeous flower and one can easily tell how it came by its unusual name. Says one horticultural website:

The black eyed Susan flower (Rudbeckia hirta) is a versatile, heat and drought tolerant specimen that should be included in many landscapes.

Despite the beauty of the flower, the name has always reminded me of domestic violence. In our land, there are many black-eyed Susans, broken-armed Rachels, terrified Marys, humiliated Michaels. During the first lockdown of 2020, reports of domestic violence not only increased significantly, but their levels of seriousness worsened, too. The UK Parliamentary Library website quotes Karen Ingala-Smith, the manager of the horribly named ‘Counting Dead Women’ project. She estimated that during the first three weeks of the first lockdown alone, there were sixteen killings of women and children in the UK, within the 'safety' of their own homes, which was the highest for at least 11 years. Appalling, no? Like the yellow flower, survivors of this abuse prove to be ‘versatile, heat and drought tolerant’. They reckon it a good weekend if they haven’t been used as a punchbag or the recipient of vile name-calling.

In the Song of Solomon, the Lord Jesus is the amorous Lover of His people. He pursues and woos, seeks and desires, but never does He humiliate, demean, beat or batter:

Come, my beloved,

Let us go forth to the field;

Let us lodge in the villages.

Let us get up early to the vineyards;

Let us see if the vine has budded,

Whether the grape blossoms are open,

And the pomegranates are in bloom.

There I will give you my love.

The mandrakes give off a fragrance,

And at our gates are pleasant fruits,

All manner, new and old,

Which I have laid up for you, my beloved.