Those wild wildflowers

Untapped energy of wildflowers! Nothing can deflect their determination.

Right here, before the ancient granite bridge, I catch the kinetic blue of flag iris growing out of a rock in the water. It flaunts butterfly petals over the spray and dares me not to notice.

They are all full of surprises, these wildflowers. I was accustomed each spring to finding the single pink lady's-slipper at the curving tail of my great rock that is shaped like a whale. One year the flower astonished me by moving atop the leviathan and multiplying there. And after I had my young helpers dig a trench connecting the tiny brook to the millstream, a whole army of spotted jewelweed, wearing pearls of common dodder, sprang up and grew almost as tall as I. They lined up on both sides of the brook at attention, masses of tiny orchid shapes on high strong stems, and awaited my orders to march.

We will march. Wildflowers of the world, unite and take over the sad cities! Liberate the dwellers of those concrete canyons, give color to their lives. Awaken in them the woodland wonder of trillium and columbine. We will publish our Manifesto of Mayapple, declaring sidewalks obstructive and tear up same. Then our wildflower city sisters and brothers will arise from their long muddy sleep underground, rub their doll's eyes and flick their Indian paintbrushes in defiance.

New York's Fifth Avenue will be a perpetual Easter Parade of buttercup and mallow. Boston's Newbury Street will be truly new berries - wild strawberry and creeping snowberry in profusion. Office workers will not spend their lunch hours cribbed and cabined in fast food emporiums. They will wander out into fields of flowers, pick daisies for stressful superiors who will instantly bestow raises and roses.

Fiddlehead ferns will strike up a tune, and there will be dancing in the streets no longer corseted with concrete. The asphalt roads will disappear in a profusion of clover and bouncing bet, and the automobile will be rendered obsolete. One-horse shays and Concord coaches will leisurely transport the public which is no longer racing to a mindless destination. The whole pace of life will take on a new rhythm, a marsh marigold minuet, ordered and gentle.

High ideals will be honored. Ministers will preach from their Jack-in-the-pulpits, and a congregation of posy parishioners will sit around with pure and open hearts. Butterflies and birds, following the flowers, will come back to cities that will have become metropolis meadows, and citizens will stop rushing around to watch and hear them. At night the fireflies will replace street lamps, and the unpolluted evening sky will show country stars. The energy savings will fatten city treasuries so that more playgrounds and parks can be planned.

We will be powered by sun and windmills like the one near my barn, and the breezes will carry sweet wildflower smells like messages from town to town. Our children will grow like wildflowers, strong and independent, able to stand on their own without the cosseting required by garden blooms. It will be a survival of the finest, a flowering of mankind. The Solomon seal which grows beside my whale of a rock was transplanted there from the garden of an astronaut I know who traveled to the moon. It is the crux of my Moon Garden where the wild things remind me that other planets should have their Iris Cristatae and Helianthus, if they do not already. Our next expedition to the moon or beyond should include wildflower specimens for planting. Perhaps the citizens of other planets will look out upon our spaceship Earth and see how good is the new greening of her surface. Should they send down emissaries we will be ready with buckets of black-eyed Susan and yellow floating heart.

Our wildflower revolution will not be bounded by this planet or even neighboring ones. A whole universe of columbine and lily-of-the-valley will float in orbits of green, and the lion and the lamb will lie down in meadows of the Milky Way.

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