Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Reflections on a woodland walk

“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately,
I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life,
To put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die
Discover that I had not lived.”
- Henry David Thoreau

It may be something of a cliche to quote from Thoreau when talking about the simple life, but he was my introduction to the idea of intentional living -- at least in the literary sense. And while I don't live in the woods, I spend a lot of time there.

It's a place that I find grounding. In a world that is often rushed and hurried, Nature moves at her own pace. But she waits for no one, and her gifts are both spectacular and fleeting.

I anticipate the arrival of the trilliums each year. As a spring ephemeral perennial, the trillium is only with us for a short while. Without frequent trips through the woods, it's easy to miss it.

While the white trillium may be known as common, I think it's anything but. That said, I'm always delighted to find one of the less common red trilliums.

This is the first year that I discovered trout lilies, with their nodding yellow heads and mottled leaves.

Another new find was this tiny six-leaved flower, perhaps from the Anenome family?

And these cup fungi were an intriguing discovery.

For the last few springs, Ella and I discovered the first trilliums together -- this was the first year I took this walk alone. Like her brother, she now goes to school five days a week.

The similarities between raising children and appreciating Nature's treasures isn't lost on me: it's about savouring the time you have, being present and not letting life's moments pass you by. Because like the trilliums, I miss them when they're gone.


Mama Pea said...

Lovely post! We always need reminders to stop and smell the flowers. (Or at least take the time to find them!)

Erin said...

Lovely! We have the trout lilies in abundance in the woods here :)

judy said...

my sister-in-law brought this very poem to my attention some 35 years ago-she was administrator for this group home or that one-all in the mental health field put it always make me think of how some of are lives are so unproductive and only have our glass 1/2 full!

Anonymous said...

So much beauty, everywhere.

Erin said...

Fiona, I just watched an episode on PBS that immediately made me think of you! They go pretty in depth into the differences between CSA's and the new CAP programs, and visit some lovely "real" small farms, check it out when you get a minute, you should be able to watch the episode online.

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