“YELLOW FLOWER” DAYS IN THE SPRUCE TUNNEL

PLEASE NOTE:   IT IS  LEFTIST-LIBERAL SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT CAUSED THE WORDS OF THIS POSTING TO BE MODIFIED ACCORDING TO (THEIR) GOOD PLEASURE – BECAUSE THE WORLD IS NOT BIG ENOUGH TO CONTAIN PEOPLE WHO HAVE A DIFFERENT OPINION THAN THEY DO.      WE NEED TO BE MORE “ALLERGIC”  TO SUCH TACTICS. 
 
SUCH  PEOPLE HAVE A PERFECT RIGHT TO BE WRONG;     THEY SHOULD EXTEND THAT COURTESY TO THOSE WHO DIFFER.
 
Don’t sneeze!  — 

 It’s  “yellow flowers”  (taxonomy disregarded),  for sure,  and it brought back fond memories of childhood.    We played in acres and acres of this stuff on the edge of the Illinois prairie.     It was six to eight feet tall,  growing thickly up and down huge mounds of dirt left there by abandoned construction projects. We cut narrow interconnecting pathways through the stiff “yellow flowers”  and waged “war” or “fought the Indians”  or chased the bad guys, or just played hide and go seek.

And then, when it got dark,  we returned to our homes,  to sprinkle billions of pollen speckles on our parents.   My poor father!  Five minutes after I entered the house,  his face swelled up into an unrecognizable mask and he dove for the one and only room in our house that was air-conditioned.

I wasn’t going to write about “yellow flowers.”   I want to tell you about a Sunday afternoon walk in the Spruce Tunnel this past weekend.   I left church with a lingering sense of quiet awe.  Everyone there also  seemed to be at peace, with an underlying sense  of gratitude for what we had just taken part in….an almost two thousand year old rite that  allows us to fully enter that One Sacrifice of Our Lord.     There was holiness there, reverence in us, spiritual restoration.   I didn’t want to end it just yet….so I stopped off at the Spruce Tunnel on my way home.

I started down the pathway that led to the Tunnel.   This time the walkway was littered with signs of early Fall.   Old twigs that had finally let go of their trees;   many yellow leaves, the early-turners,  the first colors we often see when the amount of daylight lessens each year.    That made me thoughtful.

 Actually, all the foliage showed signs of “late maturity.”    (Is that like me?   Not old age yet, but…..)   I thought of seasons, cycles, life spans, living on an Earth which has been doing this longer than I’ve been around;  and it will go on without me, long after I’m no longer around.   ( Sure am glad I had just come from church!!)

I walked further along and came to the “yellow flower”  (strong, pungent, “allergy” smell)  area:

“Yellow flower”   matures  when the year “matures.”    After things reach their peak, then they start the ending of their lives, of course,  but it can be beautiful like the (yellow flower)   plants.   (Apologies to Dad who still sneezes because of them.)    I’m still in a dreamy, thoughtful state of mind;  yeah,  I’m maturing, but  there’s life in me yet!  It’s good.      Maybe some of you know what I mean.

But then I turned a corner and came up to this:This is Hubbie’s bench,   He and I were here about a year ago.     Fall had just begun, and I didn’t know what was coming.    He said he “felt better” when he moved around a bit, short walks, and I encouraged him to come out to the Spruce Tunnel with me, just for a “short walk,”  a slow walk.   And he made it as far as this bench.    I took a photo of him, and he caught his breath there  as I danced around, taking other photographs….

I stopped there for a moment at the empty bench.  “Talked to him,”  of course.   Prayed much for his soul.    And got even more deeply thoughtful.

Let’s get “analytical” here.   Intellectualize the experience.    Part of the maturing process is integrating all your experiences….facing, accepting, coming to terms with.      But it had changed the mood, just slightly.

So I continued on, trying to  experience interesting things alone.Hadn’t quite reached the Tunnel yet, but there were plenty of interesting things to catch my attention.    I began to notice things, silly little things.  So many patterns and colors.   I was fascinated with this tree formation:A triple trunk tree.   Very dark wood.

And not fifteen steps later…I guess they like to grow in trunk groupings.   All those five tree trunks come out of the ground as one, and then split out a couple of feet above the ground.  I know so little about trees.   I have a good memory, but an odd mental block when it comes to naming trees.   I kicked around many little green balls that fell from the black walnuts.    Tried to identify the odd grayish hue that the green leaves had taken on.

I was fastening my mind onto trivial things on purpose.    It’s the trivial things that get us through the day sometimes.   It’s good.   It’s paying attention to details.    I kept wondering, though, about Hubbie’s bench.    Is it okay to remember so acutely his presence there?

I walked around another curve in the pathway,another bench, a bench with a little “message;    and I gave myself the answer:It’s another bench that Hubbie used.   But my eyes were just drawn to that branch, just like it had been carefully placed there….    not a bouquet exactly, but a branch at the end of its life-cycle.     It’s just a normal little thing in nature, in the Fall,  but I told myself. . . it’s fitting. . . it’s proper. . . .move on now. . . .

And continuing on,  the pathway took me a half-minute later into the Spruce Tunnel.

The sun was coming through in little “dapples.”      Funny little patches of  light.      I chose to walk alongside the paved  pathway, on the bare ground.  I heard that’s good for you, to walk on the soft dirt.     It’s healthy.    In the Tunnel I could smell all kinds of life, ancient growing things deep down in the earth.    Fresh and rich, the smell of musky brown.     My body was demanding more oxygen than it normally needs, so I was drawing that smell of the forest into me.      I’m alive like it’s alive.

And everyone who comes here is part of this living too.

How fun !!!!    Young people, Scouts, maybe,   just beginning their experience with the Spruce Tunnel;   learning to make a shelter in the forest — the same way shelters have been made by people who lived here long before we did.

We come and we go and the “yellow flower”  shines golden year after year.

(I hope some day the point of this Sunday afternoon blog will overshadow the scientific inaccuracies.   We all face – in common –  the sense of our own life cycle.)

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4 Comments on ““YELLOW FLOWER” DAYS IN THE SPRUCE TUNNEL”

  1. Marie Says:

    The photos you have are not of ragweed. It’s goldenrod (aka solidago). Many people make that mistake (and the mistakes are all over the internet). It’s really too bad goldenrod gets blamed for causing allergies. It is a totally different plant from ragweed. Goldenrod is a food plant for butterflies.


    • Hello. Interesting. Thank you. I only remember the ragweed from my childhood ( a long time ago!); and to my present eyes, this looked – and smelled – just like my childhood ragweed jungles.

  2. bill Says:

    Please take this picture down or make sure you relabel it correctly. You’re continuing misinformation and google images is pulling up incorrect information.


    • I’ve read and your considered your comment.

      I’ve always wondered why, of all the thousands of words I’ve used in this blog, why Google Search Terms seemed to be fixated on the term “ragweed” and gave slightly more hits to that term than to all the others. It’s kind of creepy.

      I will manage my OWN blog posting as I see fit in this way:

      As far as pulling the photos, that would be absurd since the narrative relies on the photos as given.

      But I understand one reader’s concern with the term ragweed. In honor of my father, who was so allergic and taught me what those “yellow flowers” were called; in honor of my neighborhood who gave the name ragweed to those “yellow flowers,” and in honor of my childhood friends who played with me among those “yellow flowers” in the Illinois prairie, I won’t change the name, precisely. They look and smell and feel the same way as back then.

      After all, everyone knows a daddy-longlegs is NOT a spider. And Venus is not the Evening “Star.” But I will not correct my friends in their inaccuracies because this is just common language accepted by common people. We all know we live in a common world of scientific inaccuracies.

      I will change the term in my blog posting to “yellow flowers” especially to stop Google’s creepy accounting.

      I hope you will be more comfortable now. Believe me, I know well the daily frustrations of living in a world of inaccuracies.


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