. . . a vase, some clippers and a detour along the way
I had to drive across the state this morning for meetings, scouting and a photo shoot, which meant waking to an alarm after three and a half hours of sleep, filling my insulated travel mug with strong, hot coffee, loading my heavy gear into the truck in a pouring rainstorm at about four-thirty a.m. and then high-tailing it out of town in order to arrive in Spokane in time for a prearranged location scouting session and a day of meetings.
It’s about a five hour haul from Seattle to Spokane, monotonous enough to get some serious thinking done, long enough to fit in a productive conference call between oneself, one’s agent and one’s project partner, and far enough to pass through several fascinating and utterly different landscapes. I do love the incredible ecological variety this state offers.
It was with this long drive and with spring wildflowers in mind that I grabbed a favorite vase on my way out the door this wee morning and packed it snugly in behind my seat, along with a plastic, gallon jug of water. You know, just in case.
The first third of my journey was navigated in relative darkness, so there really wasn’t much thought of wildflowers at that stage, but after a quick Starbucks stop in Ellensburg, while driving that long downhill stretch toward the bridge spanning the Columbia River at Vantage (the trip’s approximate halfway point), I began seeing all sorts of wildflowers on the hillsides and rocky outcrops, and then my mind was reeling. But the wind outside my car window was also howling, and then there was that minor little inconvenience of driving along on an interstate highway at seventy miles per hour. I winced a bit at all those flowers I was passing by, letting my eyes feed upon them anyway, and kept driving. This was just not the place I was going to spend my only, time-budgeted wildflower stop of the trip over. Nope. Not in a howling windstorm.
A hundred and some miles later, about twenty miles outside of Spokane and with a little less than a half an hour to play, I pulled off the freeway onto a two-lane side road and began driving south, into that transition country between ancient, flood-scoured scablands and the piney, wooded rolling hills of Eastern Washington. I only needed to travel a few miles along that road before I came upon a straight stretch with shoulders just wide enough for me to park safely and a rocky outcrop, lush with three different kinds of perfect, blooming wildflowers. So of course, I did what any normal, red-blooded guy with a pair of Felcos, an empty vase and an imminent, long, planning-session meeting in a hotel boardroom would do. I stopped and cut a wild bouquet for that boardroom table. Duhhhh!!!
Then, as an attentive state patrolman slowed to see if I was completely nuts, or in need of some jail time, I smiled innocently, waved and continued to search for just the right angle from which to photograph my newly won bouquet within its native environment. That last part was so I could share it with you, my Fresh Bouquet loving friends.
Proof once again that beauty is wherever you find it, if only you’re really looking, and that sharing it with others can be as simple as pulling off the speeding freeway of life, pouring a little water into the empty vase you just happen to have in your car, and then taking those few extra minutes to cut a bit of the seasonal magic growing wild along one of the blue highways of life.
This, my friends, is living.