Against The Code

Updated on January 23, 2018

My Illegal Wildflowers

Pictured here is a small 5"x 6" oil painting on canvas mounted on Masonite panel.
Following a rainstorm several years ago, our front lawn sprouted some very prolific and quite beautiful purple wildflowers. Unfortunately, I guess they grew too high, and so, that afternoon, we were visited by the local city code enforcer who issued us a written warning concerning the height of the weeds (our renegade wild flowers)..We felt like criminals as he whipped out his intimidating citation pad and with a very serious voice, educated us on the neighborhood property codes for lawn maintenance. We knew our town had a variety of specific rules regarding a number of issues, like the color schemes allowed for outdoor house paint, the limited number of parked cars permitted in front of houses, rules re: boats and trailers, and rules re: the number of required tree plantings for each property, type of permits needed for tree removal and replacement. We listened politely as he completed his instructive lecture making us aware of the need to keep our neighborhood lawn trimmed.

The citation warning we received that afternoon, mentioned a fine of $500 a day if the situation was not rectified within a few days time!! Well, not wanting to go into debt or jail, and before my husband had a chance to get out there and mow down all the pretty flowers, I went out with my garden clippers and collected a gorgeous purple batch for my mason jar. I arranged them carefully, posed the newly acquired still life in front of the easel, and committed it in oils to a little 5" x 6"canvas, evidence of our law abiding attitude!! I added this little number to my for sale items in the 'Painting a Day' list on eBay. Turning a would be fine into a possible sale gave me some sense of justice in the face of all this picayune nonsense. Well, someone did bid on the painting and is now the proud owner of a tiny flower still life with a dramatic story to boot!

I am reminded of a verse in Isaiah which describes our lives as grass, and the beauty we possess being like 'the flower of the field'. Wildflowers do possess a most amazing beauty, and so many of them will fade in a single day....leaving us to wonder about the Creator who shares His abundance generously and freely. And here He compares the life of a flower to the life we each live as well. No one knows how long we will last or when we will fade, a day, a year, a hundred years...only our benevolent Father in heaven holds our future. Why not spend it facing the sky, praising Him for His beauty and love, and receiving all the blessings poured out from the open windows above!

© 2018 nina


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