They’re little flowers, some of them purple and some of them white, that grow in ditches and woodlots in Southwestern Ontario. They’re very pretty. I first encountered these beauties in June, 1990 when I took the bus across the country to find an apartment for Jody and me in London. I was walking in the woods near Western University, rounded a corner on the trail and came face-to-face with a bevy of floral sublimity.
Did I just say “bevy of floral sublimity”? Hmm. Perhaps it’s a mental problem.
Phlox only blossom during the first two weeks of June. So like human lives, we need to cherish them while they’re with us. I read an article recently (Or did I listen to a talk? Or did a friend just say it to me?) about beautiful things being beautiful because they’re impermanent. I believe that’s true. Jody’s great spirit was a blessing to me. I revere the moments we had together, knowing that, in this physical life, they are now gone. But Jodiette, may we rediscover each other in different bodies next time.
I drove to the small town of Bothwell today to visit a friend. Bunches of phlox said hi along the way. I wanted to possess them, make them mine forever. Sorry, guy. Life doesn’t work that way. For part of the trip, I scanned the horizon, left and right, trying so very hard to find phlox. Eventually I woke up and let that intense focus fade away. From then on, my eyes softened, and phlox sometimes just came into view. I took in the broad canvas of the natural world as I reflected on Jody’s words: “I am all trees, Bruce. I welcome you everywhere.” Soft welcoming feels so much better than concentrated searching.
Thank you for today, dear phlox. See you next year, I hope.