Today began with a quick stop along the side of the road on my way home from town, to gather arm loads of Sweet Clover. Mmmmm… no expensive bottled fragrance can compete here! I like to hang bouquets all around the house.
A very nice surprise was seeing a few Chicory blooms along the roadside as well. Not many… just enough to make me smile. Some of you have heard this story already, but bear with me. (or scroll ahead!)
I grew up in a suburb of Milwaukee. A country girl at heart, with only a bit of cherished woods and wild spaces to enjoy. Behind our garage was a ‘wild spot’ that was overgrown with Queen Anne’s lace and Chicory. Beautiful combination! I loved it. But the neighbors did not. My parents received a notice to clean it up, cut things down. I was a melancholy teen, mad at the ‘rules of civilization’. When my dad hung up the sickle, and came inside… I asked: ‘Well, did you cut them all down?” He told me to go look for myself. Back in the corner of the fence there stood one lone clump of blue and white. Shining. Smiling. Thanks Pa, you understood.
Fast forward about 20 years. My husband and I, 3 boys in tow, found a country place to call our own. The Queen’s lace bloomed thick in the fields, enough to look like summer snow. But the blue was not showing up anywhere in the area.
When my dad was in the hospital, in his final weeks, I asked if he remembered the ‘suburb story’. He did. So I asked him, “When you get to heaven, send me down some chicory! Just to say ‘hi’!” He shook his head. ‘It doesn’t work that way. The dead can’t communicate with the living.” “Maybe not,” I said, “But God can!”
He left in the Spring of 2011.
Later that summer, driving down a nearby road, the sun was shining on a HUGE wild space glowing blue! Made me smile and nod. (A bonus: I was on my way to have my mom’s old sewing machine repaired, it was in the back seat. My dad bought it for her in 1950. So I feel it was a dual smile from both of them.)
The very next year, on that same road, right season, there was not a single flower stalk anywhere. That sealed it in my heart. Those were for me the year before. So now, whenever they appear, it’s a blue smile from heaven.
But wait! I’m not done with today!
After lunch, we went out in search of berries along back roads. What a treat to hit this patch!
We picked for about a half an hour… filled 2 bowls…with morning dreams. (Kevin’s is pancakes, mine is oatmeal!) I kept looking around to make sure the bears weren’t thinking the same thing. But it was luckily just Kosmo…. having a ball jumping around, and getting a blue snack himself now and then.
These could be more blue smiles from heaven. This time from Gramma. We used to pick blueberries around her house Up North.
My California Cousin has good memories of this too. In fact, when she saw this “cookbook for cancer survivors” last year… she loved the blueberry cover for that reason. Gramma remembered. She sent it to me… (thanks again O’day!), as encouragement toward good health! It’s a wonderful book. Not only healthy recipes, but great photos with a variety of positive thoughts.
So now… we have showers with a few grumbles of thunder. Perhaps an evening rainbow might just tie up this most perfect day.