ORRIN MORRIS: Sweet white violet is named after its pleasant fragrance

Sweet white violet is named after its pleasant fragrance

When we examine the characteristics of a person committed to follow the commandment Jesus repeated several times to "love your neighbor as yourself," we become aware of a very important contrast to the norms of our society.

Our culture rewards persons who are aggressive, stand tough ready to fight and are quick to punish anyone who threatens them. The macho image permeates every facet of entertainment media from handheld to big screen formats.

How many times have you heard someone say, "you have to look out for yourself," "good guys never win," or "I may forgive but I'll not forget." Success in business, sports or politics generally ignores the principles of love as taught by today's Scripture verse.

As we "Consider the Lilies," may we learn from the wildflowers the vast diversity of God's creation. May we then apply that awareness in our reaction to the diversity present in the human race.

As we are enwrapped by the events of this weekend -- the death, burial and Resurrection of Jesus -- may we remember He came for all people.SWEET WHITE VIOLET

Viola blandaThe sweet white violet differs from the other violets that we have examined in this column, especially in size. It is the smallest, about two-thirds the size of its small cousin, the field pansy.

Most violets, like the common blue, are widely distributed; however, the bird's foot violet and the sweet white violet are not.

The sweet white violet, so named because of its fragrance, grows in only one place on my property, that is, in a spot beside my driveway. Blooms occur in April and May.

Another distinguishing feature of this violet is the reddish stems and the fact that each leaf and flower has its own stem. The stems of other varieties often have multiple leaves or blooms and some have both on a single stem.

The two top petals of the bloom bend backward in an exaggerated manner, another mark of distinction from the other varieties. The bottom petal has delicate purple lines at the center, as though leading the most primitive visitor to the prized nectar.

In similar fashion, the spirit of love taught by Jesus is a guide to humanity to the prize of peace. As we gather during this weekend, may we reflect on how well we measure up to that love and commit ourselves to better reflect it in all we do and say.

Orrin Morris is a retired Baptist minister, local artist and art teacher. This column is included in a two-volume set of books of wildflower columns he has published. To purchase the books, visit the Nature Seen Gallery & Frame Shop, 914 Center Street in Olde Town Conyers.