Dottie West sang of country sunshine. Us kids daydreamed the difference. The town folks called the town country too. Well the farmers plowed, mowed hay and the sudden rain it surely smelled different. Then the birds and wildlife the wild sunsets and that which old Route 13 brought it surely was different.
But mom said, “Don’t forget what God gives, that just are, that just grows.” We knew she meant flowers. She had her own. The rampant hollyhocks the bees loved, many colored marigolds, the quaint petunias, zinnias, peonies, impatiens, and more.
First the flowering trees which were a big flower to mom, the dogwood, crab apple, wild cherry, persimmon, paw-paw, mulberry, goose plums gone wild and the christmasy hawthorne. Under these trees, along the railroad and highway right of ways, in the woods, along country lanes and fence rows and on fallowed land. Here was moms wild ones that just are. The sweet Williams, Spanish needles, smart weed, dog tooth violets, buttercups, poke weed, may apple, wild strawberry, Indian turnip, thistle, may weed, sweet clover, and of course golden rod that beckoned it’s time for school.
There they were lapping up the country sunshine, and the gentle April rains, growing wild and free, kind of like us. Then the crimson and white wild roses, we hurried down to see that arched Charley’s creek. But here mom paid tribute that was surely due. “No they’re not wild,” she said, “Caroline planted them.”
Joe Fontana, Roxana