Against the Wind…
Ducks all in a row. Perfect road trip lined up. Boomerang trip to Tomball and back in mid-April. Speaking at The Arbor Gate (Nirvana, baby, Nirvana). Pet sitter ready; extra cash in wallet. Cough. Body aches. Fever. Exhaustion. Ugh. Tomball, we have a problem.
It’s been a pretty rough month. Chickens all wiped out by some huge dog. Meadow caught fire and burned. Road trip cancelled. Cooped up sick. I gotta get out of the house for a while. Hoping I can still drive, I hop in and head south on Tin Top Road.
Bob Seger’s “Against the Wind” comes on the radio and suddenly I’m back in high school. “Seems like yesterday, but it was long ago…” Memories of old friends and old dreams fill my head. “…there in the darkness, with the radio playing low…” My spirits rise as the bluebonnets wave to me as I pass. “….wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then…” Indian paintbrush spills out over the acres like God kicked over a giant bucket of Sherwin Williams’ finest. “…I was livin’ to run and runnin’ to live…” Green grasses ripple and undulate in the breeze like an emerald ocean. “…deadlines and commitments; what to leave in, what to leave out…” Patches of Pink Evening Primrose across the landscape, like a sunset melted and dripped down to Earth. “…I’m older now, but I’m still running against the wind…” I can take it no longer…it’s an official wildflower emergency.
Pull off the road just inside the Johnson County line. Combination of a hillside road cut and what appears to most people as useless gravel…but I see things differently. The place is swarming with beautiful native plants. Shrubby Skullcap forms tidy blue mounds, strategically arranged on the ground like chess pieces. Missouri Primrose sports 4-inch-wide, canary yellow flowers that fade into a sad, droopy mess before curling down under the foliage and transforming into bizarre, balsawood-like seed capsules called fluttermills. Thin spikes of White Milkwort protrude from the earth like tiny, foot-tall missiles. Not to be outdone, Pallid Yucca flower spikes rocket up to about 6 feet. Englemann Daisy dances in the soft breeze, as if trying to cheer me. Each new step is an adventure; each new flower an old friend saying hello. This feels like home, and these are my people.
A coughing spasm brings me back to reality. What am I doing…sick as a dawg, standing out here beside the road taking pictures and talking to wildflowers? Am I insane? A stiff breeze blows me back a bit, and the clouds part enough to let the sun shine for a moment. I look around at these little gifts from Mother Nature that bring me such happiness; make me feel so connected to the Earth and stars and heaven. I smile. Yeah, I may be a maniac, but I am a maniac who has found a way to begin healing himself…from within.
“…Let the cowboys ride…against the wind.”
I need a road trip! I’d love to come out and speak to your group. I’m low maintenance, flexible, and I’ll go just about anywhere…no city too big; no town too small. Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll work something out.
Come see me at Chandor Gardens! Call 817-613-1700 or go to www.chandorgardens.com for details.