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Meet Me in the Meadow: Finding God in the Wildflowers
Author: Deborah Hedstrom-Page
Publisher Revell, P.O. Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287, 2005,
Length: pp. 176. pb spiral-bound. $11.99. 
Illustrator: Kevin Ingram

There are journals and then there are journals. You can write personal observations using just about anything as a starting point, whether it be family, friends, work or recreation. Author Deborah Hedstrom-Page (My American Journey) uses wildflowers in her latest book. Wildflowers are everywhere, so much so, that the average person ignores them, but what about those times when you need quiet contemplation? Wildflowers can then be your companion, along with God who is with you always.  

Using the study of wildflowers as a beginning, Hedstrom-Page offers a four-page section for each flower. On the left side is a black and white illustration by Kevin Ingram, two pages of how the flower got its name and what use it had for Native Americans and early settlers, then a Bible verse. The fourth page gives a practical use for the plant, such as drying anemone  for an indoor bouquet (with instructions for the drying process). Oregon grape can be used for dying fabric and fireweed can be brewed into a tea. There are 36 floral descriptions and uses for wildflowers, plus a section of “Flowery Language” and Field Guides. Kevin Ingram's detailed drawings add a soothing quality to each flower section.

Along with practical uses of wildflowers are practical meditations that speak directly to the reader. Hedstrom-Page opens her heart in the meditations by telling of coping with the death of her first husband and how observing flowers helped her meditate. In “Yarrow,” she describes how Jesus’ wounds healed but left scars, and the author, too, had emotional wounds that healed, but left scars. The yarrow is a plant that has a reputation for being able to stop bleeding, and dried yarrow flowers mixed with chamomile flowers can be used as a skin lotion. “Somehow these leftover reminders of God’s restoring touch become something good---comfort for another person, or a helpful action or a heartfelt prayer of empathy…God left my inner scars for a purpose.”

Meet Me in the Meadow has nine blank pages at the end of the book for personal observations. This is a unique journal in that the author not only has meditations for every day living, but a practical use for the wildflowers, also. If you enjoy chicory coffee, there are instructions for making your own, and who would have thought that heated pond lily seeds make a good “popcorn.” The bitterroot is the Montana state flower, wild blackberries still make a delicious ice cream topping and the lowly dandelion can be used for salad greens, cooked vegetable and for jelly. 

Best of all, you can sit and meditate as you are, for who has finery that can compare to a field of tiger lilies? Invite God in and enjoy.

Copyright 2005 Marie Asner
Submitted 2/6/05




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