The Easter daisies are blooming.
You may not know this unobtrusive, ground-hugging wildflower with creamy-white petals that close each evening to reveal a blush of pink.
They are one of the earliest blossoms to appear each spring on the High Plains.
Every year, for as long as he was able, my father picked the first wildflowers of spring to bring to his bride. As often as not, it would be a cluster of Easter daisies, roots and all, tucked into his shirt pocket, and carried home on horseback.
I can picture his calloused fingers offering them to my mother. They would soon occupy a place of honor on our kitchen table, sustained in a shot glass of water.
My father knew the value of presenting flowers to his wife, and he did so often. Every anniversary was marked with roses — one per each married year until that got too expensive. Even after he could no longer easily leave the house, he had me pick up arrangements from a local florist to mark important occasions.
But no florist's offering can rival the first wildflowers of spring, especially on the heels of a long drought.
After so many sandstorms and tumbleweeds, how very welcome are these harbingers of hope.