Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Thorny thoughts

Thorns have gotten a bad rap. Jesus Christ was tortured with them, issues with them are troubled, and they're generally synonymous with problems and pain.

But thorns, in fact, often help package wonderful things.

Thorns are a kind of spine that plants use to protect themselves from the mouths of grazing mammals. Both thistles and nettles, among prickliest of plants, are tasty and nutritious foods. Be they wild or cultivated, roses are among our most beautiful-looking and beautifully scented flowers, as well as among the best defended.

Creatures of all sizes must be wary of the raspberry, whose arms are so prickly even birds fear to tread – all the better for us humans who, with long arms and careful hands, can pluck the sweet berries for late summer treats.

Finally, consider Androcles: Without that thorn to pull from the lion’s foot, he would have been cat food.

So think of thorns not as threats, but as invitations to something special beyond.

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