Neither Fruitful nor Fragrant

It was beautiful in the woods last week.  The sky directly overhead was a clear, cloudless blue, although the higher of the surrounding hills were draped in a shawl of cloud.  Happily, if somewhat unusually, the cloud stayed where it was despite a stiff breeze.

To judge by their songs, the birds were revelling in the sunshine.  I recognised a few: the ‘teacher-teacher’ of a great tit; the ‘pleased-to-meet-you’ of a chaffinch; the staccato chattering of a wren; and – especially welcome – the unmistakable bubbling call of a curlew, the first I’ve heard this Spring.  Mind you, I saw my second swallow too, so perhaps Summer is only just around the corner.

Flowers, I find, are so much easier to identify than birds.  They wait patiently for you to inspect them and don’t fly away the moment you’ve spotted them!  At the margins of the woods there were great golden drifts of celandines cascading down the hillside.  The grassy clearings were liberally sprinkled with primroses and wood anemones; the cowslips were just coming into bloom; in a sheltered spot there were one or two bluebells almost in flower, and the spike of an early purple orchid.

There were violets too, and little strawberry flowers.  Sweet violets and wild strawberries?

Sadly, no.  They looked like them at first glance, but closer inspection revealed them for what they really were.  Scentless dog violets and barren strawberries. 

What a disappointment.  Despite appearances, there was neither fragrance nor the possibility of edible fruit!

May we, by the Holy Spirit’s enabling, be both fruitful and fragrant as we seek to live lives worthy of Him who loved us and gave Himself for us.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

                                                                                                                                                Galatians 5:22-23

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.  For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

                                                                                                                                                2 Corinthians 2:14-15