Day 104 Saffron Stigma

March 23, 2015

(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year where I write and illustrate a blog on each day's gift.)

Just four days into spring, I almost tread on purple hope today—well, not literally but what many recognize as a symbol of hope, the crocus. It is the time of year when we become weary of the confines of our winter tomb existence and begin to anticipate spring. Hope is defined as an expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. No wonder the crocus is a symbol of hope. It is the first living color of spring, often poking through winter snow, appearing during our longing for change.

The name crocus comes from the Greek word krokos, which means saffron, a spice that comes from a crocus sativa species in the Mediterranean. Three stigmas from the center of each purple bloom yield just a tiny bit of saffron. It may take an acre to harvest one pound of saffron and 4,000 crocus sativa plants to produce even one ounce of saffron, which retails for as much as $500. A labor-intensive crop for sure! Spain and India are the top growers of saffron.

So today, bundled up warmly in 43-degree temperatures, I stopped to photograph purple buds glowing in the sunlight. Their blooms may last for only ten days but they awaken hibernating hope in all who see them. The cold will fade into the past and fresh color will soon surround us.  We will shed our goose-down jackets and bring the kite down from the attic.

And I will probably skip the saffron in the grocery store.

My gift today is purple hope.

> Day 105 Unfolding of Wings

You can read my other posts on this project here:

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