Feathers or flowers?

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By Lucy Winn Fuller

My mind is cloudy. I am having a horrible time trying to figure out what to write because I cannot concentrate. Hang on, let me grab a Kleenex.
I am looking out of one eye at the moment because the other one is swollen shut. I have a table cluttered with any and all types of holistic and over the counter cold/allergy medications you can imagine. I have used essential oils. I have even tried the old fashioned whiskey with honey and lemon drink. I’m actually sipping on that now.
This is my first Autumn out here in the country. It’s 110 degrees, and I’ve got a sinus infection. We haven’t bought any pumpkins yet, because I’m not sure they would withstand this Alabama heat. We will most likely have to wait until a few days before Halloween, like usual. I’ve already made some pumpkin bread and have all of my favorite Halloween movies pulled out to watch. I’ve dusted off my boots that I will wear with my favorite jeans and sweater, eventually. Welcome to Alabama’s version of fall.
Nothing about this year is any different than the years before it except for one thing. I am living in the midst of every beautiful stalk of goldenrod and ragweed known to man. I’m sure of it. Nothing makes me happier than to see the yellow fields of wildflowers and the rich golden hue that makes the earth glow with pride. Nothing makes me sneeze more, either. I’ve had sinus problems in the past but this takes it to a whole new level.
Growing up in the Auburn-Opelika area wasn’t exactly country living. Honestly, its not even close.
Excuse me, I have got to grab another tissue and cough drop.
Just the other day, Jody and I were driving past this beautiful stretch of land on Elder Rd where there is a large patch of wildflowers. I stopped the car so that I could take some pictures of them. They were intoxicatingly beautiful. If I had to describe my heaven, I would imagine those flowers being there. Black Eyed Susans, Golden Rod, Ragweed… Achoo!
If I had just stayed in the car that day I’m sure I would be fine, but I just had to experience the wildflowers firsthand. The moment my feet hit the ground and I began walking through the ocean of gold, I felt as if I was in a fairytale. I felt as if I was in the scene of a movie where the young maiden runs barefoot through the field of flowers in her white gown, or better yet, rides her white horse (bareback) through the field of yellow goodness, chasing the sun. I quickly remembered who and where I was when my phone rang. Technology can be such a bummer sometimes. I took as many pictures as I could and returned to my car.
On the way home I noticed any and all flowers that were growing on the side of the road or scattered through the surrounding pastures. I wanted so badly to pick them all and litter my house with them. I have a love of old bottles. One of my favorite things to do with those old bottles is to stuff them with feathers or flowers. I have quite the collection of bird feathers that I have found on our daily hikes. My favorite is my Red Tail Hawk collection. I display each feather proudly in my kitchen window so that I see them at all times.
I also love to bring home flowers, Spring through Fall, and display them around our home. I love looking at them and reminiscing over the small memory each one holds. Sometimes I press them in books or hang them upside down to dry. I guarantee that you could pick almost any book off of my bookshelf and open it up to reveal a pressed flower, or even a feather.
These wildflowers may be the death of me this year but when I look at them I am happy. I am reminded that I live in a world that isn’t always ugly. I live in a world that isn’t always steel and concrete. I live in a world that isn’t always political. I am reminded that “my” world is colorful. My world is a field of flowers, a pasture of horses, a cold creek running steadily through the quiet woods. My world is watching the deer outside my kitchen window as I am doing dishes in the afternoon as Abigail takes her nap. While these flowers may be the death of me, they are the life within me, as well.
Its almost time for my next dose of Theraflu. I also need another Kleenex. I may go ahead and make myself another cup of whiskey with lemon and honey. Getting used to new things can be challenging and sometimes downright painful, but I know that this sinus infection is only temporary. I’ll be fine again in a few days. In the meantime, I’ve got to rest up and get well. I’ve got feathers to find and wildflowers to pick. On second thought, maybe I’ll just stick with feathers.
Lucy Fuller is a lover of nature, animals, gardening, and old houses. She is a full time mother and wife. She currently resides in Opelika with her husband, two daughters, 3 dogs, and cat. She can be reached at fullalove2017@gmail.com

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