What could be more commonplace in an old field than teasel? It is so widespread, so ordinary, so expected that whenever we spend a hour exploring a wild meadow or fallow farm corner, we push it aside without giving this familiar plant a second glance.
Why? Are we just being blinded by impatience? Or is our overlooking a symptom of something deeper…perhaps a modern capacity to seek out and appreciate the beauty of a thing only if it is gaudy or rare?
How much joy do we miss by failing to recognize the wonder in the everyday?
A couple of evenings ago, as I ambled about a weedy prairie border, I stopped to admire the teasel head in the above photo. It wasn't showy in the least compared to a neighboring stand of purple coneflower, or the yellow rosinweed blooming beyond. Moreover, there were dozens of similar teasel heads poking up nearby. Yet something about this particular teasel caught my eye—perhaps the way the warm sidelight from the setting sun seemed to catch and tangle in the head's sharp prickles.
Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder. And it could well be I'm more than a little strange to look at what so many view as a common noxious weed and see in it a moment of singular comeliness…though if this be the case, I hope you'll restrain yourself from trying to "set me straight."
No, I'd rather continue to regularly fool myself by finding the exquisite in the ordinary. Or to put it another way—uncommon beauty in the beautifully common.