Milkweed

by Jane Mayers

I walk most mornings along the Delaware Canal. Along the 1 ½ mile stretch that I use, there are 3 short sections along the bank of “protected” Milkweed.  Two sections were severely damaged after a storm last year. You might ask, what’s all the fuss about Milkweed?  It turns out that Milkweed is key in the life cycle of Monarch Butterflies.

In the hopes of restoring the two sections with seeds for next year, I had been collecting Milkweed seed pods.  Last Tuesday afternoon, as I was going out with a long list of To-Do’s feeling pressed for time, I saw the bag of seed pods and decided to stop along the way.  It was a brilliant Fall early afternoon, with the sun shining on the trees that had already begun to turn bright red, orange and yellow amidst the trees whose leaves were still green.  In a slight breeze, it was literally raining yellow and orange leaves on the towpath. The beauty took my breath away & I felt transfixed as the leaves fell around me. 

As I took the seed pods out of the plastic bag and began to spread them along the bank…the breeze caught a number of these feathery seeds and I felt as light at the seeds floating and suspended in the moment as if held by grace itself.  I felt a sense of protectiveness, like a parent of the seeds, the canal bank and life itself.  My list of To-Do’s fell away and I was able to bask in this moment of joy, feeling connected with everything. I was grateful for my mindfulness practice which helped me pause & rest there.

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