Flowers all around us
Have you noticed that most of the large grocery chains have placed their fresh flower department near the entrance?
It’s a sublime trap that I often fall into, seeing myself as deserving of roses for some accomplishment or for some wound that needs assuaging. And then there is the Meg Ryan thing.
I just adore those Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks fluffy flicks.
I’ll watch Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail anytime, anywhere. There is this mandatory scene where Meg’s character is shown walking home with flowers in her arms. She’s young, attractive and carefree.
I would like to think of myself as Meg except for the fact that my driveway bears little resemblance to New York City and the two feet that exist from the door of my car to my entryway leaves little time for that lighthearted promenade that evokes such warm sentiments for me. Then there is the age thing to bring me back to earth …and the fact that the store bought bouquets are not free.
Yet, I am surrounded by flowers every day.
I haven’t gathered any in my arms, nor brought them home to display in vases, but the blooms are just as evocative, just as romantic as those in Meg’s arms.
In early spring, violets light up the corners and phlox in gentle mauves and passionate purples line the roadsides, giving way to a profusion of color and texture throughout the summer. Right now, should you venture along the country roads you will see these wild flowers at the height of their glory.
The spectacular combination of the elegance of Queen’ Anne’s Lace side by side with the scintillating blue of the corn flowers and the purity of the daisies comes later. The determined sweet peas will tumble over even the poorest earth and the cat tails stand tall, their feet wet in the soggy sides of drainage ditches.
Add the Oswego Tea, the Joe Pye Weed, the tiger lilies, the black eyed Susans and all of the grasses and sedges that decorate the ribbons of blacktop and concrete with even the much maligned golden rod and marauding purple loosestrife and you have a dazzling panoply of vibrant color and scent equal to none.
Instead of thinking of our vehicles only as a method of getting from here to there, we might add access to the roadside show of wildflowers and the subtle hints of other times and lives.
Hollyhocks are clues, having long ago escaped someone’s garden and now bloom in wild profusion in the oddest places. Whose gardens were once their ancestral homes? We find old orchards, long ago abandoned, the houses of their caretakers decayed and disappeared leaving only the vegetation footprint of settlement. And standing tall along the road edge, the stately trees that once were the frontage for farmsteads that live now only in the memory of their branches.
It’s all around us.
As you drive along Eibert Road or its extension on Rt.174, vistas open up and show you a landscape to equal anything in a travel brochure.
The rolling land, the patchwork of fields planted with corn, oats, alfalfa and wheat, dotted with the authority of silos and sprinkled with cows grazing, is a live tableau that should and often does take my breath away.
I’ve pulled over more often now than before when I was ferrying children from there to here and back, now that I have time to appreciate the beauty that is around us in Central New York. Makes me wonder what else I’ve missed?
I can buy myself roses (other people can too), and I will continue to do so.
I will also luxuriate in the sweet innocence of the natural landscape, in what is plentiful, free and more exquisite than any dollar can buy.