Friday, September 11, 2009

Time moves swiftly now--I remember when a summer seemed an eternity. When fall came unexpected, as though it snuck up upon us. Goldenrod was always that first sign and my mother's favorite precursor to fall. She'd point it out growing on the verges of the Highway 17, big clumps of yellow. A prettier yellow I did not see until I moved to Europe and saw the fields of rapeseed blooming. Goldenrod makes me a child again each time I see it. I'm sitting in a station wagon with bumpy clear plastic seat covers--thighs sticking, wearing shorts that will soon be thrown in the attic with hopes I can fit into them again next year. If not, they'll add to the house insulation. I'll find those same shorts fifteen years later and remember that afternoon. The goldenrod blooming and my mother's face glowing in anticipation of the coming fall. Oyster roasts and hooking night trout under the dock light.

Here, it has some medicinal uses. It's an anti-inflamatory and sometimes used for kidney ailments and tonics. Though here in Grassy, the old folk tell me roots of Queen-of-the-Meadow are preferred. Queen-of-the-Meadow blooms at the same time here--same plant sometimes called Joe-pie weed (though they swear it's a different plant--it's not). Not to be confused with Meadowseet that blooms at the start of summer and is also called Queen-of-the-Meadow in some parts of the country.

Queen-of-the-Meadow (Joe-pie weed) (Eupatorium Purpureum)


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