One late summer day, here on the mountain where I spend a lot of time on weekends and summer break, I walked up the gravel road and gathered seed from the thistles that had feasted the butterflies all through the season. I love thistles! I scattered their seed-fluffs all over my mountain acres, in hope.

And then I was informed: Thistles – NO! NON-NATIVE INVASIVE SPECIES!! BAD!!!!!

Sigh. . .

Well, mostly they didn’t grow anyway. This summer, I have only one lovely thistle, six feet tall, whose sweetness (forbidden fruit!) draws the monarchs, swallowtails, and bees, and I am content.

Thinking of thistles and contentment leads me to another related thought:

Did you know that the velvety-soft mouth of a donkey chomps on prickly thistles and gains nourishment from them? What a marvelous metaphor!

Lord, grant me to have the mouth of a donkey: sensitive, soft – but able to “chomp on thistles” and grow strong! 


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