I Belong Among The Wildflowers

Pam Pollock
September 2022

Tom Petty nailed it on the head – I DO belong among the wildflowers.  I belong somewhere I am free.  My heart is so joyful when I am meandering down paths in the woods or traipsing through meadows of wildflowers. 

I love to rise before the sun on weekday mornings while others are either still asleep in their beds or on their way to work the early daylight shift.  I hurriedly tie the shoelaces on my hiking boots and rush out the door. I feel spine-tingling thrills when I crest a hill as I traverse down a country road that really isn’t made for two lanes of traffic and I spy the sun making it’s triumphant ascension to the tippy top of the sky.  I sigh with relief when I pull into the parking lot and there’s no other cars there.

I lug my big old camera along on my flights of fancy.  The Wildflower Prairie at a local nature preserve was in full bloom the last week of July and the first week of August.  The Prairie (yes, Western Pennsylvania actually has a rare prairie!) was saturated with Blazing Stars, which are colorful, tall purple flowers; Daisies; Early Goldenrod; Yarrow; Smooth Ox-eye; Poke Milkweed; Marigolds; Coneflowers; and Tall Sunflowers.  Delicate cobwebs dangled from stems and flowers looking like jewelry from another era. 

Bunnies scampered across the dewy grass and songbirds greeted me with the sweetest tunes.  Bees were buzzy around the pollinating flowers and butterflies performed a ballet as they gracefully floated from one Blazing Star bloom to the next. One of the mornings, the Prairie was covered in a thick fog and took on a mysterious and mythical appearance.

Some mornings I go down to the local lake and hike along the water’s edge in search of Bald Eagles, and Great Blue Herons and Green Herons. 

Other times I walk through the woods and a Mama Deer and her young fawns or a flock of female turkeys and their poults will warily cast their eyes on this strange creature who has dared to enter their lair.  And I do indeed look strange, a short, chubby little old Grandma attired in zip-off pants and a Grateful Dead t-shirt.  I have my trusty camera around my neck with the lens that practically goes to my knees.  Let’s be honest, I am huffing and puffing as I stroll through the trees.  I stumble over fallen logs and get caught in the briars.  My glasses fog up as the sun bursts out and the humidity and heat hit me square in the face.

But I’m happy.  I’m happy and tranquil because my soul and my spirit feel free.  I’m blooming where I am planted.