Wildflowers and Friends


It was in late winter that my friend and bookkeeper, Anne, told me about the tree identification walk that the Agricultural Stewardship Association was holding just five minutes from the farm.  This Saturday they were having a Wildflower Walk, at the same place.

I passed the word on to a couple of other friends who I thought might be interested.  So on Saturday morning my friend and poet Jackie Thorne met me at the farm and we drove to the Wildflower Walk together.  There we met Anne and my friend Margaret (who is also a poet) on the small bridge that leads to the path into the forest.

Hepatica leaf

Kerry was our teacher again.  Full of enthusiasm and knowledge, he carefully answered every question and pointed out not only the flowering wildflowers but the ones that had already bloomed or would later in the season.

I took pictures and wrote down the common names of the plants (I wouldn’t even try to spell or remember the scientific names).  I’d seen many of the leaves before, and had no idea what they were.  Others were more familiar to me.

Hepatica flower

But Kerry didn’t just point out the flowers, he told their story too.  Mostly I just listened taking in the information, knowing that some of it would stick and some of it would be lost to me.

Ginger leaf

But it turned out that for me, the walk wasn’t just about learning about wildflowers.  Something else happened that I hadn’t anticipated.

Ginger flower

This was the first time I was in a social situation with these three friends who knew of each other but didn’t really know each other.

When I get together with my friends it’s almost always individually, one at a time.  But here I was on a Saturday morning, surrounded by my friends.

I talked to them and they talked to each other.  As we hiked the hills we broke off into smaller groups, then came back together. We moved and talked easily with and around each other.

I never would have even thought of inviting them all over for lunch or dinner.  It would never have occurred to me to try to get together with them all at the same time.

But, it turns out,  the woods were the most natural place for us to gather.   All of us drawn to nature, to learning, to thoughtfulness and observation.

How nice, I thought, that these friends of mine could come together in such an enjoyable way.  And that’s when I realized that my friends are my community.  That among them I feel like I belong.

And I think the woods were an important part of this new understanding for me. As if the woods was the fourth friend.  The one who really brought us together.

Jack in the pulpit

2 thoughts on “Wildflowers and Friends

  1. Oh Maria what a wonderful realization.
    Most all my life my friends have been my family, so I understand.
    And here’s to belonging…

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