Wednesday, June 09, 2004
When I saw the cyclist receding down the riverside bike path with a nosegay of wildflowers bungeed to his back bikerack I bit my tongue. It would have been unseemly to lope off after him crying "Murderer ! Pillager !" He'd even taken a few birdsfoot trefoils, which I'd spotted newly blooming and richly yellow by the side of the path. I'd been pleased to have remembered their name from last year's late summer walks and I felt like I was seeing an old friend carried off by a kidnapper.
But it's hard to argue that picking a few posies for one's sweetheart is transgressive. Who'd listen, anyway ? The whole history of romance argues for wildflower bouquets. Plus, the earth is generous, even prodigal. The pathside meadows are knee high with grasses, seedheads burgeoning, and woven through with stands of vetch, campion, buttercup, clover, red sorrel, plantain, bindweed, virginia creeper, pigweed, whorled loosestrife, smartweed, asters, daisys, starwort and more. But, still. For every modest suitor plucking a bloom or two there is a whole army of Don Juans ready to strip the field down to dirt, japanese knotweed and all, leaving behind only one extra-large, drained, styrofoam Dunkin' Donuts coffee cup as a message: