Childhood “Triggers”

We all have them, to varying degrees. It can be a smell or a sight that conjures up one’s earliest memories. For me, the blooms of chicory and Queen Anne’s lace call up memories of stone bruises, calloused bare feet, scabby knees, popsicle-stained t-shirts, a cane pole, rusty fishhooks, and can of worms.

We had a lake behind our house when I was growing up. It was called a “lake” but to see it now, it’s more like a pond. I spent endless afternoons catching bluegill and the occasional bass out of that lake but had to make my way through a small meadow to get to it.

The stiff chicory always withstood my direct steps and there was nothing else in that whole open “bouquet” that matched that periwinkle blue color. I used to bring mom big handfuls of Queen Anne’s lace which she displayed proudly despite her terrible pollen allergy.

I see the flowers blooming now, in early August, on the sides of roads and in our meadow. Too many people call them “weeds.” Let me just grab my cane pole. I’ll meet you at the lake.