Seeing the trillium

Today's Photo of the Day: Antoni Zaborek Wildlife Photography‎

Today’s iconic Photo of the Day: Antoni Zaborek Wildlife Photography

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.”

Icon: trillium. Noun Project

Icon: trillium. Noun Project

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.

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5 Comments on “Seeing the trillium”

  1. Byron Whitney says:

    This was the favorite wildflower of the lady we honor today. It was a never ending source of wonder for her when clumps of them would blossom at our Adirondack camp in the spring.

  2. Claudia MacDonald says:

    Also known as Wake Robin…

  3. christine mace says:

    The trillium always means the SPRING has come or is on the way to me. I have them at my house in the woods and the cranberry ones are the best. I did not see any white ones this year. All plants were much taller than previous years. I have wondered if this has to do with the hard winter we had. I enjoy finding them each and every Spring. Such a simply beautiful flower!

  4. Kathy Mathis says:

    Trilliums always make me smile. My mom called the burgundy ones “stinkpots”. My brother loved to be the one that found them and picked just one for her every spring. After she passed away he put it on her grave. Now, one of us siblings does it for him.

  5. James M. says:

    Thank you for this homage to the trillium. I was camping on the north shore of Lake Ontario at Presqu’ile Provincial Park over the past weekend and they were growing around my campsite. Did you know that the white trillium is the official flower of the Province of Ontario?

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