Friday, September 4, 2009


I take my dogs on a steep uphill trail every morning. I can let them free from leashes, and they mostly run and sniff. I only walk and pant. By the time my panting turns to gasping, we reach a bench set in a little spot that the town keeps mowed. This park is all hills and prairie grass, Black Hills spruce and wildflowers. The bench has a view of the Missouri River,which is also a lake here, and the bench is surrounded by small wild sunflowers. It makes a beautiful place to sit until my heart and lungs stop imitating a speed freak's speech. This morning, all the sunflowers were gone! Not the stems, just the flowers. They were still in full bloom, and I was hoping someone had simply picked flowers to take home. When I sat down I looked to my left and there, strewn in the grass, ,were all the flowerheads, discarded like garbage. You may find this foolish, but I was really bothered by this pointless act of vandalism. My equanimity quickly kicked in, but it made me sad to see that someone is so thoughtless of living things, so indifferent or hostile to beauty that they would perpetrate such wanton destruction. There are jillions of wild sunflowers this year as well as skillions of other, gorgeous wildflowers thanks to our unusual rainfall throughout the summer, (mostly at night, with day after day of fantastic sunshine) so it isn't as if they are rare. But this was like a little natural garden. In the scale of mean things, this was pretty tiny, but the flowers never had a chance to go to seed and do what they are here for, to feed the birds and to plant other flowers.As you can tell, I love wildflowers, but I also love animals and children and people of all ages and the planet. This tiny destructive act seemed a microcosm for all the pointless violence, all the malicious cruelty perpetrated by people against people and animals and the whole natural world. It just made me sad for , for all of us.

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