If you would ask me what my favorite flower is
it would be a white Marguerite daisy.
I have never told this story to anyone before.
It was in a High School art class.
You know the elective that all your friends sign up for to have a social period. We were to bring in a real flower as part of a project. I forgot until the day it was due so ripped a white flower from off of a bush in our backyard and brought it to school wrapped in a wet paper towel.
For the assignment we were to fold a 12 by 18 in. white construction paper in half then over to the side to open into four rectangles. We were to draw our flower in each rectangle realistically, in abstraction, in cubism, and in a unique view point.
The teacher insisted that we sit for 15 minutes and study our flower and if we goofed off we would receive detention. And then she set the white egg timer clicking the time and sat down. There were a few snide comments and some giggles but soon a hush fell over the classroom.
Have you ever taken 15 minutes and stared at one flower?
It is a long time…
At first you look at it and your mind takes a picture and you think, okay I saw it…
And then you move in to take a closer look. It was a white Marguerite daisy, I found out later. It did not have five loopy bright colored petals with a bright yellow circle center that most of us doodle on paper and gets made into a giant sticker to stick on the rear of Volkswagen Beatles.
Every single petal narrows to the end that attaches strong into the center then tapers out to a curve which cups just a tiny bit at the end.
Each petal has hills and valley ridges that stripe the petal which change the white to different shades.
When the petals stretch out they overlap because it is crowded.
The petals feel like silky fuzzy paper.
The inside has hundreds of little curly balls clustered together and grab to a center orb.
They appear yellow but when you look closely they are a variety of golden earth tones which also change in the light.
The flower has a green stem made of long strands of vein like fibers and at the jagged end, where it was ripped from its life source, is an opaque white center that drips fluid.
At the top underneath the white petal umbrella is a star shape cup made out of green leaves with points at the tips. This cup tucks the entire flower perfectly inside to hold it upright.
The timer went ding. The chatter resumed. The class bell eventually rang and we left. I completed the assignment in a few weeks. I loved that picture.
I grew up with a mother who spoke to flowers and a father who spoke to animals. They did not only model reverence for earth’s gifts but to be enamored by them.
But 15 minutes with a Marguerite daisy converted me.
I believe I finally saw God as an artist
and I have been in complete admiration ever since.