Roadside Flowers

There is a little stretch of road a mile or two from my house, where the road goes through 5 or 6 sudden sharp bends in the space of a quarter mile.

As a motorist, I hate that stretch of road because it forces me to slow down. As a naturalist, I love that stretch of road because it forces me to slow down.

The seldom used word for such a situation is “conundrum” and depending on my mood as I hit that stretch, I either groan at the inconvenience or I moan at the soothing sights around me.

This stretch is through green farmland features; fences and trees, cows and goats. And then once a year for about 6 or 8 weeks, a little stretch within those bends, blooms in the most beautiful of pink, violet, purple, blue, and white flowers. Did I mention yellow? Well, them too!

I went down there this morning just as dawn heralded in another day and I meandered with camera in hand, in and out of the ditch to capture some of this early season color.

We are probably only at the 10% mark of what will bloom there over the coming weeks, but my eagerness drove me to take these images this morning, anyway. Hope you enjoy them!

I deliberately shot some with the cars that were passing by, in frame. I did so, because the thought that formed in my head was about the beauty that is around us every day which remains invisible to so many.

Perhaps 20 or 30 cars sped down that road this morning, barreling past this old fool crouched over in the ditch, no doubt indulging his pre-dementia years in some odd way.

I wondered what they thought (those that even noticed me) and whether my own actions helped them notice these wonderful little flowers that they pass by every day.

Some gave me a wide berth, so I guess they saw me. But others glided past me no more than one or two feet from where I crouched trying to get the shot. Perhaps they were doing something “important” like texting or changing channels on the radio.

I couldn’t help but smile at myself, as I eventually climbed back out of the ditch and said hello to an old-timer who was standing in his doorway, watching me. My smile came from my ability to enjoy what nature so willingly offers each of us.

It is a very fulfilling experience that immerses the senses in colors, shapes, and scents. And it is completely free.

Just requires you to slow down on one of those bends and occasionally get out.

No matter where we journey, we all have bends. They serve to remind us that the journey and not the destination is very often the experience to remember.

I hope you experience some bends of your own this week and if they slow you down enough, stop. Get out and walk. Breathe in the fresh air and let your surrounds wash your soul with their beauty.

Your soul will thank you for it!