One wild white aster appeared at the foot of the stairs.
Child of seed carried on breeze.
But I flew to his side,
and the cold set in before my return,
White smiles withered and slept.
Many months have passed since we stood together.
Wild asters flourish in the gap
As I return to him,
My heart is reminded of pure love.
Smiles multiply and carry new hope.
- V. Ferrier
My oldest daughter married a year ago during the pandemic. It was a necessarily small event, including just a few family members as guests. Before we left, I noticed a single wild aster at the foot of a tree outside our home. By the time our quarantines ended and we could return outside, it was gone.
A year later, as my daughter travels south to celebrate a year with a slightly wider circle of friends and family, white asters are back. There are many more plants and flowers this year. With the warmer fall weather, they will continue to thrive until after her return.
Like this small plant whose fragile seeds arrived in the wind, may hope and love continue to grow, especially in the gaps. May it continue to thrive long after quarantines have ended.
Wild asters are late bloomers and an important fall food for pollinators and birds. For more information about wild asters, I recommend the Canadian Wildlife Federation post about this beautiful native flower.