While the hills and hollows of the Ozarks are as near and dear to my heart as a beloved Grandmother, she still has the ability to surprise, even startle me on occasion. Yesterday was such a day.
While wondering through the blue highways of the Mark Twain Forest, I caught a glimpse of something out of place in the woods; something vibrant and distinctive that shouldn’t have been there in the leafless forest. I almost kept driving, but something in that flash of color convinced me that this should be explored and understood.
I turned around, found a safe place to park along side the road and made my way down the embankment, across a small stream and into the middle of all that mystery.
I was in the center of a field full of wild daffodils, stretching from an old barn on the west through a field, around a stone foundation, along the creek bank, and filtering into the woods 100 yards farther in the east. They were all in full bloom; all looking in different directions, like a gargantuan choir of thousands taking a break in rehearsal, and discussing what to sing next.
They paid me no mind, as I wondered in their midst, stooping to photograph one group then another. Each step through the mine field of flowers brought new discovery.
Daffodils played along the creek bank, jumped across the water and disappeared into the valley. They surrounded the old foundation, peeking from under storm damaged tree trunks and competing for space with every rock and plant they encountered.
Their march through the valley must have taken many decades, but they left me with the distinct feeling that this had never happened before, and would never happen again. All this explosion of color was just for this one moment, and if I hadn’t stopped and made the discovery, the day would pass and no human would have witnessed their song. What a loss for something so beautiful to have gone without a witness!
But the longer I sat in their presence... I started to realize that this unique moment in time, and millions other moments across this land, come and go in nature every day, many without a human witness. Mother Nature doesn’t seem to care nor need our witness. She doesn’t seem do it for accolades or recognition.
I was the lone witness this day, and I am a better man because of it.
Gary at Walnut Street Inn
900 E Walnut Street Springfield, MO 65806