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   Oct 21

The chic elegance and sophistication of marigolds, beloved of the Virgin,their eclat, their unrestrained colors, their militant aspirations, their bitter altercations, their undeniable beauty and ruinous pride.

This article by Dr.Lant was dedicated to me!

For Earth maven Patrice Porter, a woman of great heart and tenacious spirit. Here is your inspiration… build your burgeoning empire upon it, helping all. >From your friend, the author Dr. Lant

Author’s program note. I noticed them right away, of course. I would. There they were, a startling and astonishing range of oranges, from burnt to bright, from brilliant to bombastic, each alluring.

There was nothing shy or hesitant about their presentation. They stood in pristine glory before the world with adamant certainty, sure that they would be noticed, scrutinized, and inevitably complimented, extolled and desired, found wanting in absolutely nothing.

These were the marigolds, lordly flowers indeed, perfection in any bed or border even when, as here on Waterhouse Street, they had too little space in which to arrange themselves to their strict, precise standards, impeccable, daunting for others, so seemingly effortless for them.

At last.

So, the Christian Science church’s caretaker had at last taken my advice and bought a box of these confident flowers… like so many aristocratic ladies in bespoke perfection posing for the world, sure in every manicured leaf that they were worth your sustained glance and admiration. That caretaker should have taken my advice earlier, for these extremely self-assured marigolds were certainly to the manner born. I stepped closer, bowing low to get a better look.

The flower bed was instantly on the qui vivre, for what I meant as nothing more than curiosity, well-bred courtesy, an act of exquisite politesse and gentility, was at once misinterpreted by the recipients as expected deference and complete adherence, a partisan… but to whom? About what?

For now there was pronounced agitation as what had first appeared to be uniform gave way to unmistakable faction, turmoil and agitation; what had just a moment ago been serene and calm was now anything but.

Petal pandemonium.

The bed writhed with purposeful activity, as every loyal flower marched to its assigned station, this moment anticipated, planned for, rehearsed, now executed. It was a scene of breathtaking awe… and terrible purpose. The brigades of Tagetes Patula massed for their high and dire business. Every heart beat fast… the marigolds were surging now, their colors all unfurled, each row in perfect cadence and array.

There were tears, of course, how could there not be as kith, kin, friends and neighbors would be uprooted, perishing along the way, desiccated, withered, radiant no longer, the more honored, precious withal; jolting evidence of what success entails … but above all there was pride, pulsating, uplifting, the flower of the flower of the Virgin.

And so the French marigolds, showy, thrilling, sublime, riveting every eye, marched forward, forward, forward… nothing more perfect and precise ever seen… nothing more perfect and precise ever desired, the notes of their eerie chant de guerre “Marigold” (released by Nirvana in 1993 and found in every search engine) floating in the crisp air of perfect autumn…

“He’s scared ’cause I warned/ He’s there in case I want it all/ He’s scared ’cause I won.”

Then the celebrated “Six color pictures all in a row/ Of a marigold”, pictures sung about but never shown to or seen by the unworthy and unregenerate.

Written in 1992 by American rock musician Dave Grohl, it was the only song released by Nirvana not to include any contribution from frontman Kurt Cobain (1967-1994). He had demons enough of his own already, and they were already savoring the fast-evolving catastrophe; “He’s there in case I wandered off”. He would need marigolds and the Virgin’s comforting touch… but not yet.

Quo vadis?

And so the ranks of awe-inspiring marigolds, this time of the French variety, impressed, dazzled, and caused every life of whatever kind to stop, watch, and be glad that such a host of puissant warriors was not on this day marching towards them… determined to achieve this mission, as they have achieved every such mission down the ages (or so they say, believe and propagate), no matter the foe, its size, or their numberless ranks.

The marigolds, you see, are not what you once thought and often said upon seeing them in the verdant park of some great chateau, “Oh, the little darlings!”; thereby insulting them and exposing your own expansive ignorance They were neither little nor darlings… thus making yours a mind and opinion they meant irrevocably to change this very day, in a shower of their flashy panache.

Thus they annexed terra firma, inch by inch, until the wide world awoke to their astonishing presence and what might happen by overlooking Nature’s “little darlings”‘ and misunderstanding them so.

And so the marigolds, tireless, determined, resolute, recognizing no obstacle as even remotely powerful or sufficient to delay their adamant purpose marched on and on, their chant de guerre known to all and everywhere… for the marigolds carried nirvana in their stylish kits, never a petal or a stem out of place, certain of who they were, where they were going, what they must do and the ineluctable victory and supreme achievement which must be theirs and for all to praise and forever remember.

“Welcome to Calendula.”

Then there it was… a giant billboard with this adamant declaration, “Welcome to Calendula, home of the REAL Marigold. Accept NO substitutions” and a picture of the Virgin holding a sprig of Calendula Arvensis, the field marigold; a flower that looked like a daisy, not at all like the brilliant, ostentatious French marigolds, their elegant uniforms a la mode designed on the Rue de la Paix.

These swaggering flowers were now arrayed in their thousands before the great fields where Calendula Officinalis held sway; the rich flower from which a staggering number of renowned herbal and cosmetic products named “calendula” (from the Latin, meaning “little calendar”) inevitably derive, each balm to a troubled world; a world which cannot get enough of this plant, its soothing properties, its gift for uplifting, refreshing and reviving.

This is what the world needs; this is what they give the world, all welcome, no one ever turned away, an unequalled place of empathy, of kindness, of unstinting care, of tranqulity and unconditional love… except for Tagetes Patula. Tagetes! Their unqualified Nemesis! Tagetes! Usurper of the very word marigold!

Tagetes! Insolent! Condescending! A by-word for arrogance! Hubris! Unceasing disdain! Their greatest and most tenacious foe… their own cousin, close related, their very similarity augmenting, fermenting their abiding contempt for each other.

“Hear this, O World. I am the REAL marigold, the one true marigold!”

Thus did two great and unreconcilable hosts stand before each other on the plains of destiny, malice on their minds, mayhem at the ready. “Attention!,” said the resplendent Tagetes officer, his golden epaulettes shining. “Eyes forward!”, shouted his Calendula counterpart. Then both together, “March! Forward march! Engage! Engage!”

So in their thousands and their tens of thousands did the magnificent marigolds move against each other, no parley, no compromise, no moderation possible, risking absolutely everything for just one word.

The morning after.

“Father, father. Look what I have found! I found them at the top of the hill, all uprooted, their stems cut, leaves covered with dirt. I didn’t steal them, I promise. They are so beautiful.”

The father knew where they had come from and why they were there. “I know you didn’t, son. We shall take these flowers with us to Ganga Ma, Mother Ganges for each must be cleansed in the perpetual waters beyond time, for even flowers, things of sacred life and destiny, must have their sins washed away and go pristine into the great forever.”

Thus as the sun rose, they chanted together “Ganga Mata Ki Jai!” –“Victory to Mother Ganges!” — whilst they threw the marigolds into the timeless waters and watched their unmatched splendor drift away in the muddy eddies, enriched by the ashes of the faithful and chips of their bones, their undimmed radiance accompanying the dead on their final journey, amrita, nectar of immortality. Dedication.

For Earth maven Patrice Porter, a woman of great heart and tenacious spirit. Here is your inspiration… build your burgeoning empire upon it, helping all. >From your friend, the author.

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