Saturday Evening Post #148″ Ode to the Humble Onion Grass

If you are an avid gardener, and particularly if you are fastidious about your pristine lawn, then:  Warning!  Click away now. Nothing here to see.

Hey, were did they all go???

Onion grass (Romulea rosea) Do a Google search and the first 1,200,000 hits are all about eradicating it from your lawn.

I like Onion Grass, well at the least the flower and there is a back story.

Many many years, ago, when as it turns I was less then half as old as as I am now, I had what at the time was described as a “medical incident”, details aren’t important, but I ended up in hospital, undergowing life-saving surgery that in itself was brutal enough to bring many people down.
I don’t recall any of it, as I remained sedated for quite the week or so. I’m told on good authority that the first two nights the night-shift nurse sat by my bed and held(squeezed) my hand most of the night to keep me focused.  Must have worked. 🙂
I never did get to meet her, or to offer a simple “Thank You”.

More weeks in hospital, mostly putting weight back on I seem to recall, and eventually I was able to sit up, and a few days later I was discharged, and then spent more weeks at home mostly in bed, just recovering.
—Stick with it,  We’re getting to the Good Bit 🙂

Finally I was able to get out of bed and shuffle about the room, then the house, and by now I could longingly look out the window.
The timing of all this was the middle of winter,  June, July August.  Just about this time of the year. Slowly both the weather and I began to improve.

On one of those hand-picked rich warm sunny August days, when the wind was low, the sun was bright and the whole creation seemed to sing, I looked out the back door at the dear old welcoming green lawn, opened the door boldly and tentatively stepped out.  No earthquake, no general swaying and lurching, and the warm sunshine was, well so inviting.  I, like Neil Armstrong before me, took one more step from a man, and one giant leap for … me!  I stepped off the footpath on to the grass.

As I looked down to enjoy the greener view, and also coincidentally just to check that I had my feet the right way round and I wasn’t falling over, I noted a tiny small purple flower just ahead of me in the grass.  I shuffled over for a closer look.  It was the first spring Onion Grass flower.  I looked about for more, but if they were there, they were outside of my view.
So I settled on the one I could see.

There it sat.  No concern for being in the wrong place—the right place for me! Just humbly doing its job of soaking up the sun, full of life and promise for its species.
And well, ya gotta remember I ain’t been out for a couple of months.  That little purple splash and I bonded.

So much so that just about ever spring wherever I am, and I come across the richness of that purple among the green, it’s enough to stop me in my tracks and be very happy to enjoy the memory of that encounter so long ago.

Fast forward to the present. I was walking among the sprawling sedges and reed beds in our local wetlands the other day. It’s not even a wet lands,  simply a water retaining basin to protect the local housing development areas from storm water, cleverly disguised to look like a wetland. Mostly, as its requires a lot of rain, it’s dry.
Hard to find birds there at the best of times, even Australasian Purple Swamphens use it as an access to somewhere more suitable.

And as I meandered along, out of the corner of my eye, a splash of purple.  There is an ancient Bible text that says, “..’I must turn aside and see this marvellous sight,…
And so I did.

There quietly waving in the breeze, the little purple flower declared to the world, “Here I am”, and me, well I was delighted at the find, as it means Spring is well and truly on the way.

New Life always has such promise.