The bloodroot are back. I just went down to one of the closest places I know to look for them, out on the trail along the western bank of the Hoosic River, where the huge old maple trees lean over the water.
They’re just coming up today — their petals are still furled upward, and each single leaf curls around a stem. In the early evening, the light slants down under the tree branches and fills them up as though the petals are cupping it.
They’re always one of the earliest native wildflowers to appear, and even without this unusually warm bright day they would be telling me spring is real. They draw me out to kneel in the sandy duff and come close enough to see the striations on the petals — without touching, because they come into the sunlight only for a few days a year.
Barely a day ago I was on a plane back from my sister’s family on the other coast, and I was reading Ross Gay’s Book of Delights (I found the book out there, and it took me back to the spring night when first heard him read his poems aloud and tell stories here, up the road at Bennington College.)
He writes about immediate daily connections and their transforming power in hard times. He touches and tastes and moves through the world … sometimes, in a way, like my nephew and niece, who are four and almost-two — the way they will stop to look intently at a flower as though they have never seen it before — and instinctively want to carry it home as a gift.
In his hands I feel, as he says, “the actual magic writing is, which comes from our bodies, which we actually think with, quiet as it’s kept …” — and when I look up, I’m carrying his way of seeing for awhile, showing me the actual magic of an ephemeral wildflower on the first warm day after the equinox.
Events coming up …
Find more art and performance, outdoors and food in the BTW events calendar.