Sunday, 25 October 2015

Sandersonia aurantiaca -- Chinese Lantern Lily

"Sandersonia aurantiaca -- Chinese Lantern Lily", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015

Sandersonia aurantiaca is a member of the Colchicaceae family, Order Liliales. It is native to South Africa (the Cape Provinces, KwaZulu-Natal, the Northern Provinces) where it is now listed as a protected species due to the over-picking of these brightly coloured wildflowers. Interestingly, it is the sole species in its genus which means it must have some very unique features. This rhizomatous (from Ancient Greek: rhízōma meaning a "mass of roots") plant can grow up to 20-35 inches in height. 

S. aurantiaca is commonly referred to as the Chinese Lantern Lily although it is neither Chinese nor a true lily.  It is also known as Christmas Bells since it blooms in December (summer in the southern hemisphere) close to Christmastime.

"Sandersonia aurantiaca -- Mature Chinese Lantern Lily"
drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015 rev.

The genus name of Sandersonia comes from the surname of John Sanderson, a Scottish journalist, trader and amateur botanist who emigrated to South Africa in the 19th century. The species name of aurantiaca is from the Latin word aurantiacis and means "orange coloured". 

S. aurantiaca has become popular with those in the cut flower business and many plants are now grown commercially in New Zealand.

I originally did a drawing of the "mature" form of this plant back in 2009 which I posted at that time.  After completing today's featured drawing, I revised my 2009 drawing (see above "Sandersonia aurantiaca -- Mature Chinese Lantern Lily", 2015 revised).

Much of the above information was taken from various Internet sources.


Suki peering out of the bedroom closet to
see if it's safe to come out!

Just as I predicted last Sunday, Suki spent most of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this past week hiding in the bedroom closet!

As you may recall, in last week's posting I wrote about my fears that the planned, yearly inspection of each apartment along with the testing of all the smoke alarms and fire alarms would cause Suki to retire for the duration to her "hidey-hole" in the bedroom closet.

Actually, as it turned out, Suki did not appear to be overly disturbed by the apartment inspection or the brief testing of our smoke alarms; however, it was an entirely different matter when it came to the fire alarm testing!

As I am sure I have mentioned previously, we have the world's noisiest fire alarm in my building.  I may be exaggerating slightly, but only slightly!  Not only is the alarm extremely loud, it seems to have a pulsating feature which soon begins to feel as though it has gotten inside your brain.  When this alarm is sounding, the only place barely tolerable is in my bedroom. The noise is probably a smidgen more tolerable in the back of the bedroom closet with your head under a blanket -- which is where Suki goes in a flash the moment that alarm begins to sound.

Tragically, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this past week, every single fire alarm on every floor and in every common area of this building had to be tested.  This meant that over and over again during that time period on those three days, this unbelievably loud alarm was being turned on and left on for 5 to 10 minutes before mercifully being turned off.  

These tests seemed to occur irregularly so that I really couldn't prepare myself.  Rather, each time the alarm sounded, it came as a shock and I, who have suffered all my life from 'exaggerated startle response' as the result of severe childhood abuse, had to "peel myself off the ceiling" and then try to distract myself from the noise as much as possible until silence returned.  Suki, wisely, just spent the entire three days, between 9 and 4, hiding out in the bedroom closet.

As this new week begins, I think that both of us have finally started to recover from the past week's torture sessions.  Suki is once again sleeping peacefully in her favourite chairs and the flashbacks, disturbed sleep, nightmares and other PTSD symptoms from which I still suffer have begun to subside, returning to their normal level.

So, as you can imagine, I am really looking forward to a quiet week with no medical appointments and, hopefully, no fire alarms.  The only things I am anticipating are a visit with a dear friend on Friday and Joycelyn's regular care-giving visits on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. 



"Icon -- Christ Heals the Blind Man", by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2015 rev.
Υιός του Δαβίδ, ελέησόν με -- Son of David, have mercy on me

They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bar Timaeus (son of Timaeus), a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.  Mk. 10:46-52

I have always been intrigued by this story.  Bar Timaeus was a man of brave boldness.  He was tenacious in his desire to find someone to help him.  He had heard about Jesus of Nazareth, the miracle worker, and if the man could give him what he wanted above all else, Bar Timaeus was not going to allow fear of ridicule and the disapproval of his neighbours prevent him from getting it.  And, so he cried out unceasingly, "Son of David, have mercy on me."

Finally, his persistence paid off and Christ called to him, telling him to come close.  Then He asked Bar Timaeus that all-important question:  "what do you want Me to do for you?"

If a miracle worker asked you or me that question, what would our reply be?  I wonder...

May we be granted the grace to know that the one thing we need above all else is love -- unconditional and perfect love which will only be found in the Heart of God who is Love, Itself.  May we truly comprehend that our hearts will always be restless until they rest eternally in that Most Sacred, Most Loving Heart.


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