For this VE day, in lockdown, wild lilies’ delicate beauty

Wild lilies, known as Ramsons or wild garlic, are flowering in the moist, shady areas of Castle Mound. I would of expected such delicate, extravagant flowers to be the product of generations of cultivation – or belong to a more exotic wilderness. Yet they are on our doorstep.

To find them, start where the spring pours out into a sparkling clear pool. Follow the little stream as it curls round. As the ground becomes squishy underfoot, you will see these brilliant white delicate flowers growing alongside the path. Brush their broad, luscious leaves as you walk and the air fills with the smell of garlic.

This Easter we were not able to have in church the traditional display of Easter lilies, beautifully arranged by Pauline Miller, with a list of names next to them to whose remembrance they are dedicated. I remember my grandmother buying lilies for the Methodist chapel in Southery. Even then they were a £1 each. She paid willingly, in respect of those who had died she had loved.

As I remember all those lost, from my family, from our country, from our world, over the years and most recently, these wonderful wild lilies, bring me comfort. The exuberant beauty of each individual flower, of which there are so many on each plant, tells me that each person is remembered and honoured, for their beauty.

Maybe today we could draw our own lily flower, sparkling with the names of those we love who are alive, or who are alive in our memories. I am going to go and do that now.

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