It is iris season in Washington DC. I love irises!
I don't love trying to photograph them. I think they are very private beings and don't really want people shoving their phones and camera lenses into their faces, trying to catch a glimpse of their insides. This is the total opposite of tulips, daffodils and roses, who can't wait to fall all the way open. Some flowers love showing off. Not irises.
I try not to be rude, but I do still have to stand and stare at them, dumfounded with awe. I have to try to get good pictures of them. I take the pictures respectfully, always asking permission first.
Here's a true story centered around a purple iris. It was given to me at my first initiation into Reclaiming. It was traditional to give the initiate herbs and flowers at the end of the initiation ritual. As the herbs were presented, the giver named their power. Here is a rose, for love. Here is rosemary, for clear vision and wisdom, here is a peony for abundance.
When I was given the iris, the giver said, "Here is the iris, for hope." There was a pause. Then she said, "Except -- it's dead." Ha ha! It did look shriveled beyond repair. We all laughed.
The day after the ceremony, I spread my herbs and flowers on newsprint and put them in the sun to dry. My plan was to make an herb filled pillow.
After they had been drying for a couple of days, I went to check on them. The iris had bloomed! It was an initiation miracle and a powerful message. Hope can bloom in spite of everything, it can. You can't force hope, or at least I can't: lord knows I've tried. But when I'm hopeful, I feel restored by it, healed by it. I am a fan of hope.
No wonder I'm so in love with this flower!