This flower is called coltsfoot, Tussilago Farfara from the Latin meaning "volatile or light herb that treats coughing." In Chinese medicine, Kuan Dong Hua is a spicy warming flower that treats coughing or wheezing. It pops up through the ground as a flower with no leaves in early spring in poor stony soil, frequently along roadsides. The leaves come along later in the season. A lot of plants that grow in the cold weather have warming qualities--take for example wild garlic, that comes up through the snow, or skunk cabbage that actually generates heat in order to attract beneficial insects. Coltsfoot is a flower that blooms in what seem like adverse conditions. When we look at the condition of the world as portrayed on the evening news, or our condition when we receive an unwanted diagnosis or experience the loss of a friend or family member, we can feel discouraged or defeated and ask why. Or like Joni Eareckson who became an author and painter after first becoming a paraplegic, we can decide that we will learn, and we will overcome.
Actually it doesn't have to be this dramatic. Even the everyday things we may intend to do but might just as easily avoid, like filing our taxes, or letting go of items we don't need, or passing on the rest of that bag of baked or fried things (now that is the impossible confronting us on a small but relevant scale)--these are all little adversities that when faced with determination and understanding become the allies we need to create the life and health we desire. What are the adverse allies in your day, today?