Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Spring Wildflowers and Precious Children

When the children were young and carefree they roamed the hills above the farm - investigated the Falls and the Caves, - visited the Big Rock (sometimes with a picnic lunch) and brought home the sweet spring flowers that sprang up amongst the sagebrush in this desert country.

The memories of the bouquets that used to sit above the kitchen sink, on the windowsill, bring tender and nostalgic thoughts of the small hands that gathered and clutched them.

The Yellow bells came early and in profusion. A little fistful of yellow bells was gold, whether brought eagerly by the smaller children, or more laconically by the bigger kids who left their offering more casually. They touched me then, but the memory of them is even more precious now.

I try to control the buttercups that arrived in the Lost Garden via a gift of Japanese Peonies from Number Two Son. They have made their way up to the new garden, - where they flourish. These cultivated buttercups are bright and cheery, but they will never bring as much pleasure as those collected on the hillside and offered by little grubby hands.

The Prickly Pear cactus (or Desert Rose) was not one that got picked and brought home. Their prevalence depended upon how much moisture there was in the spring. They were the flowers that prompted small legs to run home and get Mum or Dad to share in the beauty.

As was the Mariposa Lily, which was truly scarce (and protected) . Mum even went looking for them by herself, and called the children to delight and marvel.

Soon the other desert flowers sprang to life,- the tiny mauve phlox and the small desert daisies. They never engendered quite the enthusiasm of those first spring wildflowers, or inspired such eager gathering.

Memories that touch the heart.

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