Wild Flowers

 

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Perspective is a powerful thing.

I remember riding the train through southern Italy, snaking along the glittering Mediterranean and gliding past yellow and wheat colored stucco houses. I was lost in thought, captivated by how beautiful it all was. I had expected to be disappointed by Italy, as people and places don’t often meet up to our expectations after years of building them up in our minds. But Italy was perfect…perfectly modern mixed with all the old charm and personality the pictures had me imagine.

So I was surprised, offended even, when I heard a fellow American on the train proclaim loudly, “look at all these crappy houses…how do people live this way?”

I’m sorry? I’d sell all my American everything to live in one of those “crappy” houses—just ask Darren, I’ve tried ;] It’s true, the paint was peeling, the stucco was chipped and cracked, and the whole place looked a bit wild with clothes lines strewn between houses. But I felt magic there and I’ve never been able to shake Italy off; the clothes lines and sunshine and window boxes crept right down into my soul and I’ve tried ever since to sprinkle some of that Italian magic into the way I live here at home.

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One traveler saw only brokenness and decay; I saw charm and beauty—that day at least. Our perspectives were different and so our whole experience of that place turned out differently.

I thought about all this the other day when I was looking at our rather ragged yard. With building our house, we’ve had to level and landscape our lawn. All our grass was scrapped off and all winter our house sat in a sea of brown and mud. I bought what New Englanders call “mud boots” to walk from our house to the car because it was so messy and mucky and our feet were always sinking in the dirty sludge. Last winter was the first time I’ve hoped for cold temperatures to freeze the ground and snow to cover all that brown.

So imagine my delight at all the green in our yard this summer—yes, most of that green is weeds, some of it weeds nearly as tall as me—but it’s green. I’m sure our wild, unruly lawn looks like nothing but a disaster to the neighbors around us with nicely manicured lawns, and you know, grass. But to me, our yard is lovely and I’m so happy to look out our windows at green…green weeds, green grass, I care not.

I tend to like the wild flowers best, far more than store-bought roses or houseplants. I like the way wild flowers poke up with the weeds—sometimes they are the weeds. There’s something a little bit daring and rebellious about Queen Ann’s Lace, don’t you think? The way she stands alone in a field or along the road outshining every well-tended garden flower she meets.

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My mom told me once in a card, “I hope you never lose your sense of wonder.” And ever since reading that, I’ve tried to remember how much my own perspective colors the world around me. Will I be the traveler who sees brokenness or beauty in a place different from my own? Will I be the mom who can see the joy in a sticky toddler or the one who resents the frustration and restraints of parenting? Will I appreciate all the magic fluttering past me each day in the sunshine and wild flowers growing free among the weeds?

It’s up to me, the way I see my life and the world around me. Sometimes I let darkness settle over me and it’s no surprise in those moments that the whole world looks dark and bleak. But when I focus on the light, I see the light.

Perspective is a powerful thing, after all.

5 thoughts on “Wild Flowers

  1. The glass is either half empty or half full………….a matter of perspective. Thanks for the post. I really enjoyed the sights and sounds of Italy, Israel and Greece. I have special memories.

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  2. Thank for for taking me along on your travels through Italy……thank you for a walk through the wildflower that cover your lawn….but thank you most of all for reminding me to take time to enjoy the “wonder” 😊💐🌾🌻. ~ Rache’l Campbell

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  3. Wonderful post, Kari, I pray you never lose the wonder of it all. There is beauty all around us we just need to be able to see it. By the way, wild flowers are my favorite too.

    From: Outside Air To: jenny91655@yahoo.com Sent: Friday, July 15, 2016 5:55 AM Subject: [New post] Wild Flowers #yiv9418948303 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv9418948303 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv9418948303 a.yiv9418948303primaryactionlink:link, #yiv9418948303 a.yiv9418948303primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv9418948303 a.yiv9418948303primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv9418948303 a.yiv9418948303primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv9418948303 WordPress.com | Kari posted: ” Perspective is a powerful thing.I remember riding the train through southern Italy, snaking along the glittering Mediterranean and gliding past yellow and wheat colored stucco houses. I was lost in thought, captivated by how beautiful it all w” | |

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  4. You’ve always had a love of wild flowers. I remember so many times when you would go out and pick an armful of beautiful wild flowers of all kinds (we certainly had our share of them growing around us) and would take a vase and make a floral arrangement that would rival any display in a florists window.
    You’re right about perspective…it really DOES make a difference, and finding beauty in the most mundane of things (to most eyes anyway) is a real gift. I’m sure glad you have that wonderful gift!

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