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.

9 thoughts on “Saturday Evening Post #148″ Ode to the Humble Onion Grass

  1. This is such a nice and poetic piece David!
    I am not focusing on removing them from my lawn too.

    Flowers are always being, or almost universally used to symbolise the frailty and transitory nature of human life.
    From the East to the West, I can find it in Indonesian, Chinese, Japanese, or the major western languages, there will be, without fail, poems and songs about the flowers, grass and the seasons.

    We can also see it ancient Hebrew texts such as
    Job 14:2 “They spring up like flowers and wither away; like fleeting shadows, they do not endure.” and in Psalms 103:15 “The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field”.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jeremy, thanks for taking the time to add to the thoughts on this post. I wrestled for awhile as to how much to include and not get too boring or overly detailed, but as you suggest, the power of flowers is so much entrenched in so many cultures. Always good to learn some more.
      I’ve copied the quotes to my note book


    1. Thank you Eleanor, glad to have shared a bit of insight into my background 🙂
      The whole ‘mindfullness’ thing keeps popping up in my space a the moment. Hard to ignore some of the hints I keep getting

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A wonderful reminder that we should appreciate the seemingly small things in life. A lovely narrative telling of the simple joy of when you were able to ambulate to see the Onion Grass flower, a flower that gave you renewed hope after a difficult time.
    Sometimes it is the so called weeds that have the most beautiful flowers. Showing that life continues, calling on us to view the simple things in life in a different and positive way.
    An uplifting post, David

    Liked by 1 person

    1. G’day David, I guess as photographers we get to enjoy some of this journey twice, once when we encounter it, and the next time when we revisit and share.
      Looks like I’m going to have at least two more weeks to contemplate my navel 🙂


  3. Yes a beautifully expressed narrative David of a special moment in your life, following hat was a major recovery. It is always good to be reminded of the importance of these small things, and how they can be sent to be such great encouragement to us. Every time I hear the laugh of my local Grey Butcherbird he brings joy and delight to my heart. Things others can so easily gloss over or not even notice can be blessings to those who have been connected with a special memory. Thanks for sharing this part of your life. My dearest school friend since Kindergarten went through a similar crisis some years ago, and he was in an induced coma for months, but we prayed and encouraged his wife and today his dry humour continues to give me a chuckle when we chat on the phone. To top it off he recently recovered from Lymphoma and Myeloma. God has a way of encouraging us and helping us to appreciate the little things., and through such bring renewed hope in a difficult time. Thanks again for sharing this significant part of your life my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ashley,
      It’s only a small blog, and I don’t often let myself intrude on it too much, rather keeping things a little bit a arm’s length.
      Tiny things have great stories to tell as much as anything. It is always interesting to sit, and ponder how to bring the story to life without going into too much detail.
      That the rich little flower has been able to touch a few people and their feelings, enough to write a few lines humbles me.
      We are now thanks to the unbelievable actions of the rat-bag minority back into 2 more weeks of lockdown. Who knows if we’ll ever get out again.


  4. It was a very soothing and uplifting experience to read this post, David. I don’t have a regular time to read your Saturday Evening Posts but I prefer to read them a bit later, because it allows me to read some comments and your replies to them, which gives me even greater reading pleasure. Today, as the last paragraph of your reply to Ashley shows, I’ve shared your feelings immediately while watching the press conference but your Ode to the Humble Onion Grass works like a good herbal remedy allowing me to sleep well this night.


G'day, Please feel free to Leave a Reply. Now auto approved

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s