Milkweed…there are just some things that wrap your senses and pull you back in time. I remember seeing so much more milkweed when I was a child. I remember how soft it felt on my face as I brought it across my cheeks. We were taught by and large to leave nature be where it is- largely because I think my mom didn’t trust us to differentiate between what may be toxic and what was not. But this plant was one we were encouraged to handle. My mom, whose parents came from Lithuania, told us that in other countries these plants were used to spin into fabric. She likened it to cotton plants….and we would call it that always to be corrected by her.
This plant and my mother’s explanations led me to begin to consider where fabric and thread and yarn all came from. Well, this and Rumpelstilkin’s tale…
I remember the heat of the sun on my arms as I played with the cottony ends.ANd of course the texture of this pod would always remind me of pussywillows, a favorite combination with forsythia. Texture plays a greater part of human awareness than what people now believe in this age where so much time and money is spent on the visual and audio. These in their own ways are part of the miracle of nature to be found. These parts of nature bring us close to mysteries in life, and while not necessarily solving them. They are gifts, gifts not to take for granted.