Features · On My Mind

Find the wildflowers in life

2015 has been the hardest year I’ve had to face. I’m still grieving my mother. But tea, good people and nature, have helped me travel down the difficult road ahead.

I’ve set some goals for myself — to ride my bike and walk/hike a total of 500 miles over the summer, in effort to help myself figure out where I’m going and what I am doing with my life. So far I’ve gone a little over 100 miles on my distance journey. I’m not done yet, but I’m going to keep going. Even though I am working toward this goal, it is not my only reason for all of the bike rides and walks.

What some people see as weeds, others find beautiful. Wildflowers are beautiful to me.
What some people see as weeds, others find beautiful. Wildflowers are beautiful to me.

When I’m in nature, I feel close to my mom. I also feel free and blissful in a way I cannot put into words. Nature is beautiful and pure. I love seeing the trees with the sun shining through, the wildflowers, the birds. I love nature.

Life is hard. Grief is a whole different animal. It’s easy to slip into a sadness. And sometimes, that’s exactly what you need to do. Ponder why things happened and think about the loss of your loved one. Think about the hardship, but try to shift it to more positive thinking — which gets so hard, but is doable. It takes time. Those bad memories are never going to completely go away. Though it’s only been a couple months since I lost my best friend (my mother) I know already that I will never really get over it. I will just learn to live with the new normal, and try to make the most of the days ahead, because that’s all you can do.

Whenever I’m enjoying life and appreciating nature, I feel like she’s feeling it with me. I wish I could see her and hug her and talk to her in person. But I know she’s here. She’ll always be by my side. Sometimes things remind me of her so much — sometimes the most random things will bring a lump to my throat and make me want to cry. Sometimes I let it out, sometimes I hold it in. Depends on the day.

I think the biggest thing during a time of intense grieving is to surround yourself with people who make you feel as whole as you possibly can at a time when a huge part of you is missing. Smile, try to enjoy life. But take time to mourn too. Just also take time to do the things that your loved one or friend would’ve enjoyed seeing you do. Last night, I took a 12 mile bike ride with a really great friend. We traveled down a lovely wooded trail and picked wildflowers and made bouquets. It made me really happy. Last weekend I had to say goodbye to another wonderful friend who was moving away, but we made it a happy day and went to tea. I also went to go see a close friend’s band perform an awesome gig. I recently went with my boyfriend to photograph and write a review of an amazing band, to which the lead singer thanked me for on Twitter and left me feeling proud. A friend at work always takes breaks to go outside with me, and her giving me cookies when I was having a bad day made more of a difference than she probably. A few days ago I spent the day playing video games with my brother, walking with my dad and watching “Finding Nemo” with them both. Being with people who help you feel whole again, appreciating their company and everyone’s unique personality, and being in places that help you feel close to your loved one — these things are the key to getting through grief. Life is never going to change or slow down, but enjoying the ride along the way is crucial.

I adore the wildflowers from last night’s walk. Part of me feels bad for picking them. But we made sure not to take them all (there were probably thousands on the trail), so others can enjoy them. I am happy to see them and enjoy their aroma indoors. They probably won’t last long, but for the short time I’ll have them, I’ll enjoy them. Life is all about perspective. To some, the wildflowers are seen as weeds. But they are beautiful. It’s important to find the wildflowers in life, and not take them for granted. They’re blooming all around you. Don’t let them go unnoticed.

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