From the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director – I am on the hunt for trilliums. The weird thing is that these flowers blanket the woods beside my driveway every year; most of the time they quietly pop out and one morning in May as I leave for work – I notice.
This year is different in so many ways. A friend mentioned the flower last Friday and I went on the hunt. For the first time I really looked on the forest floor and found them in bud.
Now I have checked almost every night to see the progress. Of course the difference here is time, a slowing down of my work, leisure and life in general to give me the chance to even wonder about the trilliums. As I said this is the first time I have even observed them in bud; usually I just happen to notice as a I speed out the driveway or on roads nearby that – oh there are trilliums – and then if feels like a few days later I do the same only its about the leaves turning and it is autumn.
The difference this year is astounding – walking to the other side of the driveway and down the bank to the forest floor and waiting, watching and wondering. This year maybe that is the biggest difference – we have time. I know for sure that in all of the planning and preparing we did over the last decade or so with policies around pandemic I never imagined time to think, time at home, social isolation, closed businesses, closed restaurants. I never imagined the right next to making sure there was PPE that my very next priority would be making sure there was opportunity for fun and activity to pass the large expanses of time.
This is all to say that while I am not a conspiracy theorist about the world never going back, what I wonder is this – next May will the trilliums just sneak out on me while I drive quickly by or am I a different sojourner in the world now? Am I forever going to notice more, crave more time at home with family? Am I going to keep some of these distancing habits by choice?
When my husband was a boy, he and his cousin were lost in the woods for 24 hours. When they found their way back to the cabin the only things to eat were a few radishes and stale bread. Now, even after all of the intervening decades, he still enjoys the taste of this weird combination of foods – because after his long fast, it tasted delicious then, and still does – though only to him.
So, similarly to my husband’s radish delight, will I now be on the watch for trilliums, slowing slow down long enough to take in their blooming? Will I take more time to enjoy what I have missed in the past rush? I guess none of us have the answers as we experience all of this for the first time – we just have to wait, watch and wonder. There is beautiful life in bud right now; it will bloom as we reenter the world slowly and our experiences will taste delicious for the rest of our lives.
Photo (c) Kristin Duare McKinnon