Right now in my part of the world a humble little wildflower adorns the roadsides. It even occurs in fields and lawns if herbicide has not been rampantly applied.
I am speaking, of course, of a frothy little thing known as Spring Beauty or Claytionia virginica.
Many years ago my friend Peter gave me a carefully nurtured pot of Spring beauty. I accepted politely, but as he handed it to me I wondered “WTF?”.
After all it was not a very showy plant even in full bloom and it was everywhere in the Black Belt Prairie where I grew up.
Why propagate it and label it with a carefully scripted tag indicating date and place of origin? Seemed like overkill…
But I was younger then. I missed a few subtleties.
And I was not alone. For the most part, I don’t think young people notice Spring beauty.
It is too small. It is white or pinkish and seems to disappear in certain kinds of light. It is difficult to photograph.
Now, however, my attitude has certainly changed.
I’m on a crusade. I must have more Spring Beauty. I crave it like Chris Walken craves the cow bell. I’ve learned that the power of Spring Beauty lies in numbers.
I want it in every patch of lawn.
I want to watch it feed my honeybees.
I stop people and point it out to them. They look quizzically at me.
And I realize that I’ve come full circle.