Phlox

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.

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