Monday, June 09, 2008

Wild Irises

Down the trail and into a fold in the landscape, a hidden cove that is lush and green, wet and darkly shaded by old trees crowning the steep slopes like guardians. Rain drips off the leaves and branches overhead, and there is the rich fragrance of stone, wet earth and vegetation. There are pools of dappled sunlight here and there, and I hear sighing - the sound seems to be coming everywhere at once. The earth breathing perhaps, or the transpiring trees?

Among clouds of biting mosquitoes and deer flies, I am looking for wild irises. Their intense purple petals and fringed golden hearts are well worth a long squelching trek into the northern rainforest in June and a thousand biting insects too. It's a shade of purple to die for, and when one finds it, it's better than money.

What do they mean, these splashes of amethyst swaying like dancers in the shadows on their long elegant stems - what heady wisdom do these deities have to impart? The divine Iris was goddess of the rainbow and a winged messenger of the Olympic pantheon, so there just has to be a message or a fragment of wisdom tucked in here somewhere. As I sway back and forth in harmony with the wind and try to focus on these wild purple goddesses, I remember something Toni Morrison wrote.

"If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it."

2 comments:

Shelli said...

I love irises. These photos are gorgeous. And I love the Morrison quote too.

Aisling said...

I featured a few iris on my Sunday Stroll this week - not wild, but cultivated. I will think of the Toni Morrison quote you shared when I walk in the garden today among those iris. I really enjoyed reading this post. :)