My part of Texas is awash in wildflowers right now. In the past month I have taken numerous trips to Austin’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to walk and to marvel at the bounty of Spring. So much beauty to ooh and aah over, especially our Texas Blue Bonnets.
On some of the outer trails my eyes are drawn to the large patches of blue. I am reminded of our ubiquitous Blue Bonnet paintings.
Go to an art gallery showcasing Texas landscape art and you will find paintings of Blue Bonnets…Longhorn cattle in Blue Bonnets…barbed wire fences and Blue Bonnets…old trucks and Blue Bonnets. These have been popular for years and they sell well. People ooh and aah over them. Somewhere there is probably a painting of a T-Rex in a field of Blue Bonnets.
And then there are the photos. People trample swaths of these flowers to pose their children and dogs next to them. The Wildflower Center does have a couple of designated areas where visitors can pose with the Blue Bonnets without destroying them. I have done this myself with family and friends. They are pretty, but this kind of gets boring after a while. I seek out the other flowers sprinkled among and near the blue ones. The real Texas landscape has many kinds and colors of flowers. Every color you can imagine.
Variety is the spice of life. Each living creature adds to the beauty of the world. I like to think of each human as an individual flower with a unique beauty. What if, in our urban and suburban landscapes, we celebrated the diversity of the people we see as we walk through our towns and shop in our stores? What if we oohed and aahed at the beauty of each person? It might be a bit weird if we did this out loud, but we can do this inside ourselves. And maybe we would greet them with a smile and the world would be a better, more loving place…at least for that one day for those people…the admired and the one admiring.
(I was going to subtitle this month’s blog “Pollyanna on her soapbox with pretty pictures”…I do believe each of us who model this sort of love for our fellow creatures can influence others. )
*(All photos taken by the author at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center except for the last photo which was taken at McKinney Falls State Park)
Check out the website: wildflower.org