Whenever I went outside to pick a bouquet of wildflowers for Mother, it always seemed as though the farther I walked, the better the flowers looked. The ones along the ditch closest to the house never seemed to be as bright or as tall as the ones I’d see just ahead up the side road. By the time I’d walked to the little creek the variety of flowers seemed to be better; maybe because the land around the creek was wetter and there was just a bigger selection.
Standing at the creek looking back the side road, the ones along the old oak tree at the edge of Perkins’ field seemed to be more vibrant and there seemed to be new varieties there, so off I’d go. I’d continue along and see splashes of colour as I went, each seeming brighter and better than the last.
When I’d finally reached the railroad tracks there were even more flowers and now there were cattails as well. It was always nice to include a few cattails in an arrangement so I’d pluck some of those out of the swamp along the road.
I’d take one last look around and finally be satisfied that I had the best selection possible. I had white daisies, black-eyed Susans, cattails, violets, some of the tall purple flowers from the lowlands, some cowslips, some jack-in-the-pulpit and sometimes some wild phlox and some mustard plants. I was ready to head back home with my bouquet.
When I arrived back home Mother would claim that they were the most beautiful flowers she’d ever seen and place them carefully in one of her tall glass vases as though they were the finest flowers flown in from some exotic lands far, far away.
They may have just been lowly weeds picked from a nearby ditch but now that they were standing proudly in the ‘good’ vase, after Mother’s careful arranging, they really did look magnificent.