Thursday, April 15, 2010


This is the week the first wildflowers appear in our woods. The wild lily-of-the-valley. The wood anemone. The bell flower. The star flower. White. All of them. As if in this season of slanted sunlight they can't waste precious rays on color. Well, maybe the bell flower yields to its blossoms the faintest tinge of gold.

Fragile flowers, all of them. Tentative. Creeping cautiously into the season, testing the mildness of the air. None of that rash extravagance we'll see later on -- those seas of purple loosestrife, those oceans of goldenrod and yellow mustard. No, these earliest spring wildflowers whisper their arrival. Eyes cast down, they spread their delicate leaves like prayerful hands. Introibo ad altare Dei, ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam. There is something blessedly benevolent about them. "In a pleasant spring morning all men's sins are forgiven," wrote Thoreau. I bow my head and receive their benediction.