JOHNNY- JUMP-UP © September 2007
These sweet little pansy type flowers suddenly appear from nowhere, hence their name. They have bright, colorful faces. You discover one looking up at you and know you didn’t see it there yesterday. And they pop up in the most bizarre places. At the base of a tree, between the ornamental stones, or up through the mulched flowers, or even on a tiny patch of gravelly dirt between the driveway and the lawn and, so it seems, wherever there is a speck of dirt. I don’t ever remember planting one.
I remember going to work in the morning and seeing them lined up hither and yon along the macadam pathway to my breezeway door. They would flank me in scattered formation on both sides as I walked along to get to my car. I felt like a general reviewing troops. When I returned at evenfall they would still be there, but then some looked up at me as I walked by, while yet others had turned their heads this way or that to see what was going on behind them. They have sweet, colorful faces, or did I mention that?
Once, when my wife bullied me into weeding with her, I knelt and pulled one up with the weeds, then looked at her and said, waving a scolding finger at the flower, “Bloom where you’re planted!” Then I turned that sweet flower face (did I mention their faces?) toward her and apologetically replied for them all. “I’m sorry, I must grow and bloom where life takes me. There is just so much to see!”
She smiled, then laughed, then replied “Very well then, just leave them be.”