That’s the stalk of this super-tall flower above. Below, just a kind of bunch of buds for flowers which only pop out a few at a time as time goes on in whatever circumstances, in bad circumstances and even good ones, whatever comes.
Saint Paul puts it this way (Philippians 4:12) [my own roughneck translation]:
I know indeed how to live in smashed-down circumstances;
I know also how to live with super-abundance.
This is called an argument a fortiori. Thus, by the force of the first statement the second one has to be true. Thus, to say that that’s a man is also to admit he’s got a spiritual soul. But this kind of argument is especially used to force an issue of difficult circumstances. Thus, the person who stupidly expresses surprise that some guy survived being in the wilderness on his own with nothing after an accident in which he was severely injured is put in his place with no further comment when someone else pipes up to say that, well, you know, he passed through his BUDS course and Hell Week and got accepted into the Navy SEALs just six months previously: Of course he survived!
Normally, in our way of emphasizing things, we would say that we’ve learned how to live with good circumstances (of course, right?) and – Hey! – we’ve learned how to live even (wow!) with bad circumstances, putting huge emphasis on how bad the bad circumstances are and what heroes we are. But Saint Paul says with supreme sarcasm against those who trust in themselves and so look to congratulate themselves at any opportunity that he’s learned how to live with bad circumstances (like that was nothing at all) and then – Hey! – he’s learned how to put up even (wow!) with good circumstances.
Hah! As it is, we fall apart spiritually in good circumstances, don’t we? Easy makes us fall apart. So he puts the good circumstances last to make the point. He does all this in Christ Jesus our Lord, who is the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception. But, how to say it, for her, who always followed God’s holy will by way of transforming grace, she knew how to live with good circumstances and even bad. The good was really good. But the bad was really bad. She remained stable, always the good mom, just… always… no matter what… just always the good mom. A flower for you, Mary.