Volunteer Cheer

Two years ago my mother-in-law and I wandered around the property on a crispy fall day scattering hundreds of rudbeckia seeds in the hopes that they would take hold and blossom the following summer.  Well the next summer came and went and I walked through the woodlands looking for flowers without any success.  Because they had not blossomed the first summer, I decided it was a lost cause and they would never blossom.

I was wrong; it was not a lost cause.  One afternoon recently I was tromping around the acreage enjoying the wildflowers, snacking on some wild saskatoons, raspberries, and blueberries when I happened upon a rudbeckia in full bloom.   It was tucked away on the forest floor with its happy yellow flower reaching for the sun.  I thought if one had taken there must be more so I set out on a mission to find the volunteers.

I retraced the areas we had walked two years ago and found quite a few happy volunteers.  They had managed to establish themselves in the sandy soil without any love and attention; only a rather careless flinging of the seeds into the air with little regard for whether they actually touched soil or not.  They were not lovingly patted into the soil or watered or fertilized.  The rudbeckias were the ultimate volunteers.  They set down their roots where ever they landed and did their best to make their corner of the woods or lane a little brighter.  Between the rudbeckia and the volunteer sunflowers under the bird feeder, we have enjoyed quite a few spots of unexpected cheer.

That made me wonder, what other spots of unexpected cheer would I notice if I only focused my attention and gaze?  If I moved my eyes from my natural line of sight and searched beneath the leaves what might I see?  If I shifted my attention from the busyness and watched for others' spirits, what might I witness?  If I cuddled with my grandson and sat completely still while he tickled his fingers in my hair, what might touch my heart?  And so, I did.  I searched the forest floor and saw lots of other flowers of different shapes and colors.  I watched for peoples' spirits and glimpsed their strength, or sorrow, or joy.  I cuddled with JMH and time stood still while he studied me with his old-man eyes, grinning from the tickle of my hair on his fingertips.  And my world was righted by the volunteer cheer that was all around me waiting for me to notice.