When the Cogon Tops are White

When the “Ber” months kick in, an annual natural event always amazes me. Traveling across the provinces, I cannot help but notice the white blossoms carpeting the grass fields. These are the white flowers of the cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica). 

When I was in high school, one of the feature articles I wrote which had a very positive impact on one of my teachers had the same title as this one. Why am I so amused by these tiny white flowers blooming from one of the most common grasses in the world?

Because as a grass, my life is the same.

“For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:” 

1 Peter 1:24

Let me share some of my life realizations as I gaze upon these white cogon tops.



Life is Beautiful

As the white cogongrass flowers start to bloom in early September, this common grass which is usually considered as a pest plant gets my attention. No matter how common these grasses are and even if we don’t cut their stems and put them in flower vases or give them to those special persons in our life during special events when they start to bloom, they cover our planet with unique white patches that are swaying gracefully with the winds. It seems to wave at me and tell me, “Hey, there’s life in here, and it’s beginning to show its beauty.”

From the very beginning, God created life and He intended life to be good.

When God created our planet and the whole universe, the only description He had after He made everything was, “Very Good”.

“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”

Genesis 1:31a

Even this invasive grass is beautiful… much more beautiful are the human beings for whom this whole universe is created.

Individually,  we are created beautifully:

 “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

Psalm 139:14

No matter what we are going through right now, our life is beautiful and we are beautiful.

We may feel so ordinary and unappreciated now, and we start to believe that our life is nothing but problems and worries much like this grass which seem to infest every barren soil on earth. But time will come that things will change. There will come a time that the flowers will blossom. In time, life will reveal its true beauty.



Life has a Purpose

The cogongrass flowers not only possess beauty, but they also have a special purpose.

Each plant can have as many as 3,000 seeds contained in these complete flowers. The wind acts as the pollinator enabling the grass to disperse pollen grains and procreate another plant. Although these grasses can also grow through their rhizomes, most of them grow from these white flowers.

It’s not an accident that these flowers bloom at this time. During these “ber” months, our country experiences rains and winds which can make dispersion faster.

As ordinary, as they are, these tiny blooms are here for a purpose, much like our life.

Every day, we wake up and we should be thankful. Beyond thankful, we should be purposeful. Every day when God wakes us up, He gives oxygen, sunlight, food, clothing, house, transportation, work, study, relationship, protection, grace and mercy. He will not give all of these and so much more if there is not a purpose in our life!

Finding one’s purpose is the greatest discovery in our life. But before our individual and varied purposes, there is one universal purpose for us all – to bring back the glory to the One Who created us and gives us life everyday. 

Wherever you are right now in your journey, everything and everyone around you serves that one ultimate goal – to glorify Him. This is one of the greatest motivators in my life, that wherever life brings me (like how the wind carries those cogongrass blossoms), I know God’s hand is with me and He allows me to be carried somewhere and to experience something for His glory.

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

1 Corinthians 10:31″


Life is a Choice

Here’s another amazing thing about the cogongrass. According to a source, “Flowering  (of the cogongrass) occurs.. in response to stress events such as burning or mowing… The species thrive in areas disturbed by human activities.” The grass blooms after a stressful event especially those created by humans!

That is one great challenge an ordinary grass faces and succeeds triumphantly. All over the world, the grass can be found on all continents except Antarctica. How about that for a grass!

What a common grass can accomplish, we find it hard to do. When other people try to put us down or even destroy us, we react negatively. But this grass responds in contrast.  It blossoms! What a challenge!

Life, with all its beauty and purpose, will become more joyful when we choose the right responses towards anything life may bring. When we choose forgiveness, gratitude, peace, love, patience, kindness and all other sorts of goodness, we are preparing ourselves to blossom. The backdrop of life may already be burned or mowed or destroyed by fellow humans, but our godly responses will bring freshness and grace.

What season of life are you in right now? Choose to bring out your beauty and live out your purpose in life. Choose to blossom where you are planted. Choose life.


Photo credits:

Shutterstock and iStock

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