The Journey of the Tulip

By:  Wanda Fielder

When I think of Holland or anything Dutch, I think of tulips.  Even thoughts of Holland, Michigan bring about visions of tulips which are in abundance during the Spring in time for celebratory festivals.  I have always loved the vibrancy of the tulip and often arrange them in my home décor.  Even their casual droopiness brings beauty to the beholder. 


However, were you aware that Holland is not the birthplace of the tulip?  Tulips originated as a wildflower growing in Central Asia and were first cultivated in the Ottoman Empire, which is present-day Turkey.  The name itself is a derivative from the word turban. Tulips were imported into Holland in the sixteenth century.  Popularity grew with hybrids and mutations of the beautiful flower, and today millions of variations of the bloom can be found in the fields of the Netherlands.  The journey from Asia through Turkey and beyond proved the resilience of the tulip to exist on the mountainside or the plain and through harsh conditions.


Where did your spiritual journey begin?  I am sure that it wasn’t just one planting and blossom without a circuitous and perhaps perilous journey to accompany it.   You have a story to tell, and your journey is a message to those following.  Life is not always a bed of roses (or tulips) without complications, but that is exactly what shapes you into the person you are today.  We often admire the finished bloom without considering the process endured to produce the loveliness.  Tell your story!  Share not only your successes but also the pain of the progression. 

I found it so intriguing to read what Sarah Raven imparted about the tulip: In the 20th century it was discovered that the frilly petals and dramatic flames that gave some varieties their stunning look, were in fact the symptoms of an infection by the mosaic virus. The healthy flowers were supposed to be solid, smooth and monotone. The virus came to the tulip from a louse living on peaches and potatoes. These diseased varieties are no longer sold, what you can find is hybrids that look similar but are genetically stable!”

You might feel that you have been disfigured by the hurtful circumstances in your life when in reality it became your significant beauty!  Your stability may have been formed through unwelcomed events that became your salvation.  Be grateful for the journey, and share your testimony.  You are loved! 



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