Borage, or starflower, I found growing in a planter by my front window. Its seeds contain oil used by herbalists to treat inflamed skin, though excessive quantities do more harm than good. The leaves are sometimes used in Mediteranean salads, and the flowers were consumed historically to “purge melancholy and quiet the frantic and lunatic person” (John Gerarde, 1545–1612). Francis Bacon agreed, claiming Borage had "an excellent spirit to repress the fuliginous vapour of dusky melancholie”.

It goes to show that sickness of the mind and mental ill-health are not modern problems, peculiar to our age. Just as the human body is afflicted by our fallen state, so too our minds. The gospel of Christ does not presently make us perennially happy, each and every hour and minute. We have a joy in Christ which is fixed and immovable, but dark thoughts and sad inclinations may continue to haunt us, while we remain on earth. Borage may be an effective, temporal solution to this state, just as modern pills, fresh air and exercise have their benefits in this regard. I too have my down days, and though I’m not planning to digest any part of the borage plant- petal, leaf or seed- its pretty flower reminds me that God is still good, even when my day has not been. He made such a pretty little thing for His and our enjoyment and delight. Starflower reminds us that as stars are best seen in the darkest of nights, so God's grace is best felt in the direst of straits.