I think a lot about wildflowers. We have these gorgeous white ones that grow in various parts of our yard and every time my husband mows our grass, I gently remind him to leave them standing. Leave them until they’re ready to go.
They’re a little miraculous, mysterious and misunderstood, aren’t they? They’re not intentionally planted, yet somehow they still find a way to exist. They somehow find a way to grow out of nothing and if you ask me, that’s something special. Some people may look at them as weeds, their presence an unwelcome sight. But the wildflower does not care. She grows almost in spite of you; bright and tall and fierce in her purpose to bring beauty to the world.
The wildflower is always happy to share anything she has. Whether you’re a bee in need of nectar, a butterfly looking for a soft place to land or a lonely soul who needs someone to tell your secrets to, she is always ready to help. Her motto is ‘take what you need and leave the rest.’ She asks that you only use what you need of her gifts so that she can continue to provide comfort, sustenance and love for all who need her.
She isn’t afraid of getting dirty. Because she’s seen her share of difficulty, what with growing where she’s not planted and all. She’s content growing anywhere and sharing her beauty with the world around her. Her free spirit dances in the wind, never fearing what anyone else thinks. She doesn’t have time to consider how her existence affects anyone else because she’s too busy living and growing.
The wildflower doesn’t care where she lives as long as she’s given sunshine and some room to grow. She doesn’t ask for much. She’s comfortable whether she’s standing guard along a picket fence or mingling with the roses. No, she isn’t threatened by the beauty of the other flowers because she knows their beauty doesn’t take away from her own. She’s a showstopper in her own right and she’s happy to sway in the breeze, gesturing proudly so that you may stop to show some love to all of her friends.
She might agitate you though. She may very well force you to get uncomfortable. Your eyes might itch, and you might get swept up in a cloud of pollen. But that’s just how she makes her presence known. Because she understands that sometimes we have to get uncomfortable before we can grow. Sometimes we have to go through the pain, the annoyance and the frustration to see the beauty that awaits us.
She may be wild, but she has a soft side. A quick touch of her petals and you’ll see the true beauty she reserves only for those who dare to get close enough to look. Upon further inspection, you will see that though she is fierce, she is delicate. You must handle her with care so as not to disturb the beauty that lives within her petals. As the modern poet Atticus says, “Love her, but leave her wild.”
Wildflowers keep coming back, too. You can try to dig them up and you can cut them down, but they’re resilient. They can be completely torn down and grow back from nothing. Wildflowers are often they first ones to peak their heads out after a hard winter, letting the rest of us know it’s safe to come out and play. She’s there to let us know that brighter days are ahead.
She’ll teach you faith. Because as she disappears along with the summer heat and when autumn threatens to drown her in its golden sunsets, you know that she’ll return again. She might be a little different. She might stand a little taller or a little brighter. She might even be a bit bolder and fearless, but at her core, she’s still that fragile, beauty that you fall in love with all over again year after year. Though she may be sleeping beneath the soil, you know her spirit still lingers there.
The truth about wildflowers is that we may never know the truth. We may never understand how or why they grow. We may never truly be able to understand their resiliency, their fragility or beauty. I don’t believe we’re ever meant to understand miracles, at least not on this earthly plane. We need not understand something to appreciate its true beauty. All we need to do is love and appreciate them for all of the beauty they bring into our lives, whether for a season or for a lifetime.
About Mel Stephens
A born and raised Fairview girl, Mel Stephens is a freelance writer whose work has been featured in publications like Medium, Thought Catalog and The Mighty. She is also a mental health advocate, podcast host and drinker of lattes. Mel lives in Fairview with her husband and five (yes, five) fur children where she is probably currently re-watching The Office for the 734th time. For more uplifting content and lots of dog and cat photos, you can follow @musiccitymel on all social media platforms. You can also drop Mel a line to email@example.com.