We walked the sidewalks of Perrysburg and noticed a curious thing. Above us hung robust planters spilling petunias in a glorious cascade of rich, jewel tones over the side. Healthy green leaves accented the vibrant fuchsia blooms. Directly below, a plant bloomed in the cement crack of the sidewalk; leggy, weak-stemmed, a mere shadow of what grew above. How did that little petunia end up a street plant? Does someone water it on purpose or does it just suck in the drippings from above? Will it survive all summer? I was more fascinated with the homely plant at my feet struggling for survival than the glorious richness of life on the easy street of petunias living in a well-tended planter. I admired the gutsy, street wise plant that bloomed in spite of cigarette butts, hard dirt, hot concrete, and people hurrying by looking up.
Later that evening, we waited at a stop light while a group of dreadlocked, young people sat cross-legged on the sidewalk strumming guitars, drumming a rhythmic cadence with fingertips and palms, rolling cigarettes, nodding in time, and waving with smiles as I snapped photographs.
Suddenly I was reminded of the petunia growing in the crack of the sidewalk. I was more fascinated by the colorful gathering than properly-dressed city strollers heading for dinner downtown. Where did they come from? How did they get here...in the middle of Toledo, Ohio? What are their dreams? So many questions.
There's no moral to this little story, just a parallel between a street-smart petunia and a cluster of kids, savvy, expressive, and elegant in their own ways.
“I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”
~ W.B. Yeats