Spires and Aspiring

Print More

Mary Anne Zak

Aspire: (verb) to hope; origin Latin, aspirare- to breathe.

Spire (noun): a high, conical structure pointing upward symbolically and architecturally toward heaven, a destination to which many aspire, some with very good reason. Origin: Old English spir: tall slender stem of a plant.

Spire, a high, conical structure pointing upward and a spir, tall, slender stem of a plant reaching upward share kinship in the direction they take: upward, the spire in hope and the plant in its very nature. Their kinship has been growing for centuries.

In languages like Latin and Old English,  earlier civilizations developed concepts like hope to which they clung for centuries. In those many centuries, hope was strong. Whether religious or spiritual, it was powerful. The age of Notre Dame’s spire contributed to its iconic symbolism. Was the symbolism of Notre Dame’s spire lost when the spire fell?

Dismay seemed universal. In addition to being a historical work of art and engineering, Notre Dame had given millions of people hope for centuries. In the chaos and violence of modern times, did its falling, flaming spire suggest that the world had forgotten to hope?

Close by these thoughts meanwhile, meadows sloped toward the river gleaming south in the sun. On the opposite bank, trees (slender stems of plants) ascended to a horizon saluted by a solitary spire. Its message “Hope!”

Simultaneously and almost within arm’s reach three peace lily plants thrived. Although not truly lilies or slender stems, they are truly peaceful! The small plant blesses with one white sail, the medium with two, and the large with four! Many people believe that peace lilies filter toxins from the air; I wonder if they can filter toxins from the world. They certainly can from me!

Their serenity heals.

The peace lilies invite contemplation and so do their companions and their blossoms. Color beguiles and structure inspires. Created to re-create, beautiful hues present gifts of petals, pistil and stamens on slender stems for study and delight.

Meditating on spire, spir, slender stems, peace lilies, and hope leads to hoping that hope thrives. 

Comments are closed.