A Mountain Ash stands in the sun on the edge of my lawn flaming its life out in a blaze of red, orange and trace of yellow. As I look past my computer I am amazed at a row of maples a kilometer away that is flaunting its colors along with some green. All I can say is that this autumn’s colors rival what one might find in most countries.
Except Brazil. Doris and I were there a short time studying Portuguese in a school for missionaries when we noticed the variety of flowering trees and shrubs. Since then one sticks in my mind’s eye, the Kapok trees in full flower. You will recall that years ago the fibres in the Kapok pods were used to fill life jackets. But the flowers were new to us especially when the fallen petals covered the ground the way the Maple’s leaves do here.
The Orchid is indigenous to Brazil and is the national flower—perhaps that is one reason that I have some 17 orchids facing a South window. I recall visiting a home in the interior of the state where the mother and children were poorly dressed. But orchids bloomed on a tree in her yard for she had tied orchid slips to some of the branches. And Maria and Alzenir in the city of São Paulo took me to their small back yard to show me their orchids. There were 4 types of orchids thriving on that tree. The Brazilians’ artistic nature shows in their love of beauty.
Brazilian flowers took my interest though a hobby was the last thing on my mind when we moved interior. But a rose bush in the flower bed that separated our front door from the street took my interest. I could only remember the Portuguese “enxertar” so I had to look up the meaning in English—it means “to graft.” Well, that is what I did so that the rose produced some 3-4 other types of roses.
The Passion Vine Flower
I recall the ladies in our Odessa church had returned from a retreat that had the theme of “Bloom Where You Are Planted.” So that Sunday evening I could not resist a pun as they came to bring a report, “And now we have a report from the ‘bloomin’ ladies.” They were a great group with a good story about the retreat.
And finally a picture I love and the love of my life—my wife Doris who labored faithfully in the Lord’s work whether in Brazil, Haiti or on a pastorate. I could write on and on about her many ministries with youth groups and choirs, Sunday School, lady’s groups, adult choirs, pianist & accordionist and on and on.