Howard Thurman writes in Meditations of the Heart of the fire flower. Doing a little research, the fire flower is, in some areas, one of the plants that tend to follow a burn-off, an early bloomer in a forest area decimated by fire. “To spring into life with color and freshness where fire has burned and heat has laid waste – this is the quality and grace of the fire flower.” But Thurman is not a botanist. His interest in the fire flower relates to people, and he calls out those “fire flowers” in humanity, those “men and women who seem always to have the right word, the saving gesture, the simple deed that makes the barren place beautiful, the burned-over area to spring into life with color and freshness.”
We all know those people. We’ve had them bloom in our lives – perhaps not perennially, not even annually, perhaps just from time to time, perhaps they bloomed for us just once. The offer of help from a stranger, the smile of a child in the midst of a long day, a note from a friend, a stranger letting you into the seemingly endless line of traffic. Perhaps some of us even are fire flowers, at least sometimes, in the lives of others. Even cacti bloom.
Thurman closes on this:
“What a gift of God, what a grace of life to be blessed with the magic of the fire flower!”