way of the world

08/11/2022 0 By BuddyCushman

Yesterday, someone asked me, “If you could be any flower, which one would you be?”

Rather than say why I wouldn’t be a hydrangea or a dandelion or a rose – “Why not?” not being the question – my answer to what flower would I be if I could be one is a black-eyed Susan. Yes. A black-eyed Susan.

I lived in Lowell, Massachusetts a number of years a number of years ago, and it was during the peak years of my running (jogging) life. When coming home early from work on a Friday afternoon, changing into running clothes and shoes, and heading out for a nine-mile run was just something I’d do. Downhill from the park across from the apartment, over the bridge, out one side of the Merrimack River, over another bridge and back on the other side. Maybe seven and a half miles into that run, the river on my left, refurbished brick textile mills on my right, I’d come along to what I’ll call a field of black-eyed Susans. You have to stretch your mind to imagine “a field” in such an urban setting, so please picture an endless stretch of gold-petaled flowers with black hearts waving to passing me, in some slight summer breeze, from the downtown side of the walkway.

I knew they’d be there. A gift. My friends. Not much different from me – if at all.

So, yeah, if I could be a flower, I’d be a black-eyed Susan.