Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wild Flowers on a Walk

Doral said he was going to talk a walk. Anita had her runners on before anyone else. I flew out the door last to do the thing I want to do most each day – a walk brisk enough that I can’t talk but must concentrate on my breathing.

Ceilidh joined us for our walk the next day. My goal was to have her name six wild flowers she could spot in the woods – when the walk was over. She began by asking about the clover in my lawn, at which point I began to think about the kinds of clover were going to see. The five foot high clumps of white clover line Bernie road. The sweetness of the smell reminded me of scented honey. The small clumps of royal purple clover have the flower stalks I love the best, for when they have gone to seed, the rich brown colour and sweep of the brackets remind me of Chinese pagodas.

A colourful stand of fushia coloured domesticated flowers rim one side of Bernie Road. They were planted there many years ago by Odell French when she would take her yearly walk. “I don’t believe in God,” she told me, “but I like to plant flowers as I walk for they will live on after me.”

Many years ago she asked me who had been our guests on the property. I couldn’t think of anyone who had been there so she described in more detail – there were many teen-age girls ... you had many people there. Then I remembered: Mormon Girls Camp.

Odell had owned a fashion boutique in Revelstoke before she retired. “The girls were so beautiful,” she went on. “So fresh, so alive, so healthy, and they were laughing and having so much fun.”

All of that was going through my mind when Ceilidh noticed the flowering of the seeds that Odell had planted so long ago.

Douglas Aster
We saw the Douglas Aster next, for that is the hardest flower’s name to remember on the walk ... unless you know someone named Douglas and we may have had to go to a Bible story in the Old Testament, where a man was riding an ass to think of how to remember the second part of that flower’s name.

More on flowers tomorrow....

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