As a child I remember picking a bouquet of wildflowers (or weeds, whichever you prefer calling them) for my mom. I’d pick dandelions , wild carrot (do not get those anywhere near your eyes, speaking from experience) white and New England (purple) asters and what my mom called bachelor buttons. These periwinkle wildflowers, I later found, was chicory. Right after the flowers were picked, the bloom closes up.
When the chicory blooms, the summer days are already shorter, the cicada’s begin singing and thoughts of school fill the heads of children, including myself years ago. A memory I still have is when, as an incoming senior in high school with my first serious boyfriend, he came calling one afternoon (sounds a little old fashioned, I’m old but I’m not THAT old). I wanted to show him the family farm so we walked along one of my favorite paths. Starting as a cow path the trail turned into a tractor path my dad took from one field to another. Lined along this path were hundreds of chicory flowers. As we walked, my boyfriend pick a chicory bloom and handed to me.
I didn’t have the heart to tell him the bloom would quickly close. I remember looking at the bloom, looking up, his face was right up against mine and he kissed me, our second kiss and I felt it all the way down to my toes. It was after all my first serious boyfriend, (notice I said first, not my last).
There’s a special place in my heart for chicory – not only because of the little story I just told, but because they are delicate beautiful wildflowers that remind me of the cycles this big beautiful planet goes through all the time.