Do not underestimate the humble daisy. We may well take it for granted, mown away for the sake of a tidy lawn or passed hurriedly every day on our walks to ‘important’ places. It is rarely observed. Yet when we take the time to stop and truly notice the flower what do we see? A simple flower that reminds us of childhood perhaps? I certainly spent hours picking daisies, making daisy chains and playing ‘He loves me. He loves me not.’ The simplicity of the flower and the games we played give clues to the symbolic meaning of daisy. It is a reminder of childhood, play and innocence. There is no better flower to awaken our inner child. It helps us to reconnect to a time when we lived free of cares without the trappings of adult perspectives and responsibilities. This is a quality that has the power to transform us.
Letting the light in
Daisy is a corruption of the words ‘days eye’ and, quite simply, it expresses how the flower opens in the day and closes at night. More to the point, it lets the light in and shuts out the dark. Spiritually speaking this is a powerful attribute to possess. It reminds me of the children I met on nature walks I organised this summer. Every single child seemed to me to be a shining light. They lacked the guardedness of adults. Each child had an untampered joy, curiosity, shyness or openness. Each one was unique but precious. There are many daisies in a field and they bring lightness to a space just like those children and like the child within us all.
Infinity of Stars
The daisy family is the biggest in the plant Kingdom. Currently there are over 23,000 plants in the family, represented by favourites in our gardens such as Asters, Echinacea, Rudbeckia and Gazania. In fact, the correct term for the daisy family is Asteraceae. The base of this word being ‘Aster’ which Greek for star. Quite probably the name describes the ray florets circling out from the inner flower in the same way as light streams out from a star. Yet it also serves as a reminder of the multitude of stars we see in the heavens. Just like stars and daisies, humans are too numerous to count or recognise, yet all of us have our place and significance among the constellations.
I love these words by William Blake;
“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.”
Dare to Dream
A daisy maybe simple, just as a child is pure, but we should not overlook the power of the dreams we held during that precious period in our lives. It was a time when we dared to imagine that we could be train drivers, archaeologists or ballet dancers. The progression into adult life so often strips us of those dreams. But what can be more important and life affirming than dreams? We do well to remember Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela and their visions for a better world. So next time you see a daisy, however old you are, take time to breathe deeply into your inner child and allow those dreams to come flooding in. Who knows what will follow?
The Flower Writer
I have made a video talking about the joy and meaning daisies hold for me.