Monday, May 4, 2009


The Spring ephemerals abound in the woods near my home. This photo captures both the white trout lily (Erythronium albidum) and the dwarf trout lily (Erythronium propullans). Mostly white, delicate blooms, sprouting on slender stalks that nod and sway and tremble. The bright whiteness draws the energizing rays of sunlight and advertises their presence to hopeful pollinators. The random movements of the blooms in the slightest of breezes also draws attention. Dutchman's breeches, false rue anemone, hepatica, bloodroot, and spring beauties cluster in the blue shadows and blaze in bright clearings drwing me out of my winter cave.

Last Friday, I went to an extraordinary event at my nieces and nephews' grade school. It is called Improv, and stars all seventh and eighth graders. Coached, charmed, cajoled and championed by Mary Strickland (who was recently recognized for her passion and purpose as a teacher) the kids sang, danced, did stand up, performed a percussive and vocal sound montage, lip-synched, and played music that kept us all enthralled and moved by the energy and talent of these kids. I'd feel this way even if my cherished niece and nephew weren't standing up, showing off.

I love it that this school reflects the cultural diversity of Minneapolis, that the skits often had a liberal Catholic political and social leaning, and that the production values, though not high-priced, were high quality. I also love seeing the openness and hopefulness of these kids. Their self-conscious movements say both "see me" and "look away" simultaneously. Desperate to be different, desperate to fit in. I remember those days. I often say that I wouldn't want to be younger again - my lessons have been too hard-won to give up. But that night, sitting in the dark, watching those children sway, nod, tremble, I felt that I could enjoy the confidence and enthusiasm of those years.

1 comment:

twinsetellen said...

Trout lilies are favorites of mine. I must get out to the gardens before they are naught but leaves.