I try to be mindful and notice at least one beautiful thing in nature every day.
It can be hard, in the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, to slow down, take time and notice nature’s beauty.
I do it because I truly believe this simple act enhances our lives and helps me feel inspired, motivated, grateful and encouraged.
That’s why I recently noticed a hillside full of blooming purple flowers on my way to pick up Z at school.
Because of the direction the hill and flowers face, I only notice it on the way to school – never on the way back.
I kept forgetting to call Z’s attention to it all spring, until the wildflowers finally spread on the hillside to the point where they were so beautiful I simply couldn’t get them out of my mind.
“Look to your left up here,” I excitedly told her. “Check out that hillside. I really want to stop and visit those flowers someday!”
That’s when I heard words I never dreamed I’d hear: “Mom, we should seriously do it. That would be so fun!” And that’s when the magic happened.
I needed no further invitation. I pulled over and parked beside the road, then we grabbed our phones and headed into the flower field. I had a feeling it might be tough going, as it was very overgrown with weeds and brambles.
It ended up being even harder than I thought. We both had on shorts with flip flops – so basically, we were braving prickly, thorny weeds with bare legs and feet. Still, we persevered because the flowers on that hillside were so lovely!
It’s not even a real hill – I’m pretty sure it was just a huge mound of dirt leftover from a construction project. It’s been there so long that weeds and wildflowers have simply taken it over. Just like Jurassic Park taught us, nature always finds a way.
We chose an absolutely gorgeous day for this adventure – the sky was bright blue and the clouds utterly perfect white puffballs. The wildflowers were in peak bloom and encouraged us with every prickly, brambly, difficult step we took.
Finally, we reached the desired cluster of purple wildflowers – which I now know are called Dame’s Rocket and are actually an invasive species. It was so difficult making our way up that hillside that we were giddy to finally reach and touch the purple flowers!
We took photos – both selfies and of each other – and then we reluctantly headed back down the spiky, troublesome hillside. I will never forget hearing Z exclaim, “Mom, that was tough but totally worth it!” as she carefully made her way down the hill.
It’s summer break now, and I can honestly say I will miss passing that flower-filled field and hillside. It is such a cool memory of our crazy afternoon trek into the Lewis Center wilderness.
I guess I have that view to look forward to this fall when school starts up again. I know we could opt for bus transportation for Z, but I love our morning and afternoon drives together. Especially now that we’re in middle school, I seek out opportunities to hear about her day and find ways to connect.
Plus, if I hadn’t been driving her to and from school all this year, would either of us ever have noticed the flower field of our dreams?
Like she said: it was totally worth it. It always is when we slow down, connect and notice the beauty of nature.