On my walk to chapel one recent Wednesday afternoon, I passed by some elderflower. This was a particular pleasure, for I love elderflower cordial. The flowers are soaked in water, which they infuse with the smell and taste of summer. Those left unpicked will produce elderberries later in the year. The tree was popular with folk from ancient to modern times for its medicinal and ritual uses. Nicholas Culpeper observed in his Complete Herbal (1653) that its shoots could be ‘boiled like asparagus and the young leaves and stalks boiled in fat broth doth mightily carry forth phlegm and choler’. Thanks, Nick, but I’ll be sticking with the flower for its flavourings, if it’s all the same. Yet doesn't this tree and its white flower bespeak the Creator’s common grace to us all?

For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God. Hebrews 6:7