To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee.
One clover, and a bee.
And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.

–Emily Dickinson

I get home from book club and find a note on the dining room table. The cover shows an enormous crayon-colored bee flying over a bright green field. Inside, Jack has written the Emily Dickinson poem above (“because it’s your favorite,” Doug tells me). He’s also written a note:

Dear Mama,

I was sad when wee couldn’t make cookies for you. We didn’t have any butter. Jane cried. I was sulking.


I think this card will become one of my prized possessions. It tells me my son loves me, and what mother doesn’t get glowy-hearted hearing that? It also tells me Jack is more self-aware than I usually give him credit for.

But what I love most about it is that it shows he is able to transform his frustration and disappointment into a concrete act of love.

And it reminds me of the poem itself that he copied out for me. Given imagination enough, we can make a whole prairie from just a clover and a bee. Jack couldn’t make cookies, but he could still draw a picture, copy a poem, write a note. The love expressed, not the medium for expressing it, is what matters.

In the absence of butter (or anything else we think we need), it only takes a clover and a bee and revery to make something beautiful.



Florilegium comes from two Latin words, meaning flower (flor) and gather (legere). Legere is closely related to the Latin word for reading (lectio). So a florilegium is literally a gathering of the flowers of reading: a collation of the best words, the best books.

I hope you’ll come by every Friday to gaze on some beautiful heart-mind-and-soul flowers. (And stop in at Susan’s, too, for another bouquet).