Overuse wears a word down, and one of the most eroded words in English now is “icon.” From icon’s original meaning as a representation of sacred awe, it has descended to mean merely popular and ubiquitous. Might as well say “cool.”
But we do have experiences that are genuinely iconic–seeing the heron in flight, the trillium in bloom.
Whenever I see a trillium, I want to stop and breathe, to do nothing but be in the presence. And then I want to write a poem; I want to consider perfection, purity, evanescence. A trillium is a thing seen that points to things unseen.
I haven’t written that poem yet, and today is not that day. But I’m not the only one who is moved in this way by the too-brief adornment of spring in the North Country.
Patricia Cambell Carlson wrote:
All along this hill: trillium
white as Christ’s robes when
He ascended into heaven. . .
Masiela Lusha called trillium:
The muse of three ivory words
Tied to one gravity of reason—
Tied to the gold pollen
Of birth and rebirth and rebirth.
Peter Pereira writes of their fading:
the trillium, its three-petaled white flowers
exquisitely tinged with purple as they fall.
And Sydney Lea recalls:
. . . a late trillium
glowed by a ledge like a lotus.
Right along the rain kept pounding.
I was mindful of all these things
What’s the last thing you saw that stopped you in your tracks? Share a mindful moment in a comment below.