Sunday, May 17, 2009

Canticle for the Columbines

It will be a few days until all the columbines on the Two Hundred Acre Wood are in bloom, but this solitary specimen several feet up a granite crag in one of the ravines leads the way as always. Its perch is a sunny one in a south facing crevasse, and out of the wind for the most part.

Earlier this year, I found new communities of Miterwort, Jack-in-the-pulpit and Soloman's Seal springing up nearby. Feathery clumps of Dutchman's Breeches sway on the huge weathered glacial dropstones here and there, and for a few days this month, the whole floor of the ravine was carpeted with hepaticas and violets. There are riches in the place in any season, as far as the eye can see, and I so wish I could describe them all properly.

Wild columbines have always been a great love of mine, and they are, in fact, responsible for our stewardship of these wild untrammeled acres. Many years ago, we parked by the side of the road to read a map, and seeing the tattered handmade "for sale" sign on an old fence post, we climbed the steep trail into the woods to see what was there.

It was a gorgeous May morning, and the fully leafed out maples were dancing arches over our heads, their branches filled with caroling and cavorting grosbeaks. Himself was reconnoitering tree species over the next hill when I encountered a large clump of columbines blooming right on the trail and knew that I was home at last. We have never regretted that morning, and after all these years, the sight of a blooming columbine still leaves me breathless.

Here is where I was meant to be, and this is my wild liturgy, however poorly sung.

10 comments:

nanakin1 said...

Beautiful, especially the last line. May I quote you on my blog? I consider you one of my muses.
Thank you,
Nancy Scott (nanakin1)

kerrdelune said...

Nan, of course you may quote me. and I am vastly ticked to think that you want to do that. Oh yes, and do you have an e-mail addy tucked somewhere on one of your own beautiful blogs?

liliannattel said...

What a lovely way to find your home. Columbines are a favourite of mine too. I've always thought they are fairy flowers.

Rain said...

I love columbines, wild or otherwise. Our domestic ones in colors that change all the time, that they decide upon, are just coming into full bloom and it is one of my favorite garden sites.

One Woman's Journey said...

Your image is beautiful.
Like Always!!

Sky said...

no wild ones here, but our columbines are hubby's favorite flowers in the gardens. they are all about to burst into bloom! lovely post both here and below. enjoyed learning about the day you first saw your "new home!"

Endment said...

Columbines are out on the cliffs above the Delaware river. Only buds here yet. What lovely photos Cate!

Angie said...

What a beautiful photo! My columbines aren't wild, but they have been in bloom for over a week now, and they delight me every time my eye rests on them! I loved reading about how you found your 'home'. You are such a talented writer.

Livia Indica said...

Wow, I've never see a Columbine before. They look so exotic! They look like they belong in the rain forest. Gorgeous!

disa said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.