Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wood Anemones

Wood anemones first flower of spring

Peeking through forest litter
     Yesterday I was sitting on a bench at the edge of a river bluff. Elms and lindens soared up from somewhere from way down below, their skeletal ribs towered above me and gently waved their hairless crowns as if pushed lightly pushed by a spirit. To my left a white pine soughed in the wind, creaking softly. Bright green moss cushioned the floor from my feet to the sharp edge of the cliff where it dropped a hundred feet to the river below. I was listening to hairy woodpeckers drumming on deadwood, tapping out mating calls in woody rhymes. How, I wonder, can anything beat its head that fast and hard against solid wood and survive? An eagle silently soared past at eye-level following the twisted river. She glanced at me with a severe look. I nearly overlooked a tiny wood anemone. I could have left without ever noticing – so shy it is. Sometimes its called a windflower because a windy day can cause it to open its sepals that look to me like seven tiny petals unfurling around a furry yellow center. But botanists say they are sepals not petals. When I looked more intently, then I saw anemones everywhere in small patches along the very path where I’d walked, peeking from brown litter and steep ravines. White clusters, some with the softest blush of pink. These are the first flowers of spring that took so long to arrive this year. I think sometimes its just okay to be small and hidden, quietly blooming, doing your job before the big guns come and steal all the sun and air. Hoards of bluebells. Extravagant wild iris. Carpets of wild garlic.
Today I hope you are blessed by something elfin and beautiful just doing its job.

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