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Wild is the Way

by | Jul 6, 2015

A dozen hungry goldfinches bob and bounce on billows of yellow coneflowers.


A gray hairstreak butterfly, not an inch long, trails its delicate fringes on the surface of one of the brilliant blossoms.


Bees and dragonflies of every hue teem on the flowers that grow and tumble everywhere, despite the gardener’s absence. They barely notice me here on the love seat, coffee in hand. I am home again after several weeks on a journey that never got me to my original destination. Never mind, I am home for now and drinking up the wild in my garden. A fresh breeze blows the shady air across my neck.

Bee balm—more like bee bomb!—is exploding for the first time ever here.


Purple coneflower is taking hold as well, perhaps because I had turned my back and wasn’t watching. Huge brassy mounds of seeds in the middle of the lovely pink advertise a tasty bird buffet.


Blanket flower glows in warm colors of the southwest, truly evocative of Indian blankets.


And when I rise and walk around to the north corner of the house, the bright yellow of some unknown flower shines in the dappled shade. Years ago we stopped along a country road to gather these seeds, and they rise and shine every year for us, as lovely as the Kansas prairie they came from.

Soon we must set out once again on a journey. These wild beauties will bloom their hearts out until our return, spending their seeds and petals freely on the breeze.

Susan Yoder Ackerman is a writer and gardener in Newport News, Virginia. Both her writing and her gardening are enhanced by tending a century-old family farmhouse and eight grandchildren that come and go. You can email Susan at [email protected].