Reflection 308: Wildness 8

August 20, 2012

Copyright © by Steve Perrin.   [Including twelve photos.]

People have long been attracted to the sexual parts of plants as if their lives depended on them, which, in most cultures, they do. If flowering plants didn’t rely on pollination to propagate, we wouldn’t be here. But in many cases we dissociate flowers from the fruits they eventually bear, classifying the one as a sort of decoration, the other as food, finding different benefits in each.

I find joy in the flowers of many plants whose seeds or fruit I have no interest in eating. Particularly in flowers that grow in the wild, not gardens. To me, such blooms are the epitome of wildness that I receive as a gift from damp soil and sunlight. They announce that the natural world is in good working order, and my duty is to celebrate that wild order by paying my respects to the messenger. So I find myself engaging with flowers through their seasons, marking time by the sequence of their scents and colorful shapes.

My life is situated among flowers. I am always aware of them, and aware of myself being aware of them. They do not exist in some outside world; they exist in my depths. I go looking for them when I think they are due, and when I find them, I stop, bend down, and take notice, confirming them and myself in equal portions. If ever I fail to do so, I will know I am near death. Flowers are that vital, that mysterious, that profound.

Here be a few flowers I have photographed in late June and July of this year: Indian pipes, pinesap, whorled loosestrife, partridgeberry, mullein, beach lavender, and helleborine.

P1010453-96-Ip P1000856-b-290-6_96P1000892 96-fl-2P1000958_BI-7-2-6-2012_4_96P1010052 96-fl-4P1010256 P1010834 96-fl-6 P1010837 96-fl-7P1010451 96-fl-8 P1010851 96-fl-9P1010853 96-fl-10 P1010871 96-fl-11 Could anything be more startlingly wild than that selection of flowers? Colorful and orderly, yes, but who could have predicted such an array? And there are plenty more where they came from in our amazing biosphere. I could make a case that consciousness is given us to appreciate flowers, because, as I said above, our lives depend on them. I believe in putting flowers at the heart of my existence where they belong.

Maybe you do the same. I’m still here being myself. And being Y’r brother and friend, –Steve from This Earth

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