365 Grateful: All my flowers are volunteers

Just yesterday I noticed these happy flowers growing alongside my house above my retaining wall on a hillside I leave wild and untamed, unmowed. Whatever grows there, I welcome. If it flowers, I’m thrilled. If it lingers, I’m ecstatic, but such poor soil doesn’t lend itself to cultivation and I am not a cultivator.

Imagine my glee at seeing this stand of lovely, bright new tenants. I hope they stay.

In case you can’t see the image, here is what it says:

All my flowers are volunteers,
carried here by the wind,
a stray bird or creature passing by,
or maybe an underground flower railroad
safely hidden from our view
so we don’t trash it, too.

This summer, it’s Fleabane,
not that it deters fleas.
There’s a hardy encampment of them
nestled along the edge of my untamed hillside
where not much grows in red clay soil.
Yet here they are.

I’m hoping they’re not gypsies,
camped only for a week or a season,
and never to be seen again after moving on.
They’re welcome here, a surprise,
these native daisies with golden orange centers.
A blazing invitation to stop, take a break, enjoy.

They say Fleabane is a native plant
that colonizes disturbed ground:
A last-stand kind of flower,
radiating optimism in the midst of desolation.
May these gypsy roots sink deep and linger.
Welcome home.

(c) Jennifer Johnston Crow

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