I'm not sure what it is about wildflowers that I find so exciting, but they sure have captured my imagination over the last year. I suppose it's mostly their effortless beauty. This reflection on a serendipitous encounter with bluebells by Wendell Berry captures some of my thoughts;
One early morning last spring, I came and found the woods floor strewn with bluebells. In the cool sunlight and the lacy shadows of the spring woods the blueness of those flowers, their elegant shape, their delicate fresh scent kept me standing and looking. I found a delight in them that I cannot describe and that I will never forget. Though I had been familiar for years with most of the spring woods flowers, I had never seen these and had not known they were here. Looking at them, I felt a strange loss and sorrow that I had never seen them before. But I was also exultant that I saw them now - that they were here.
For me, in the thought of them will always be the sense of the joyful surprise with which I found them - the sense that came suddenly to me then that the world is blessed beyond my understanding, more abundantly than I will ever know. What lives are still ahead of me here to be discovered and exulted in, tomorrow, or in twenty years? What wonder will be found here on the morning after my death? Though as a man I inherit great evils and the possibility of great loss and suffering, I know that my life is blessed and graced by the yearly flowering of the bluebells. How perfect they are! In their presence I am humble and joyful. If I were given all the learning and all the methods of my race I could not make one of them, or even imagine one. Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. It is the privilege and the labor of the apprentice of creation to come with his imagination into the unimaginable, and with his speech into the unspeakable.
Year of Plenty is now taking applications for those interested in being an "apprentice of creation." There are unlimited openings. Hiking boots and allergy medicine are recommended.
Picture: Purple Aster wildflowers on Mt. Spokane.