Sunday, April 3, 2011
The Wild Iris In Our Pasture
This beautiful gift of grace was growing in our pasture as I walked with the dogs and horses today. One of the first signs of spring here in the Pacific Northwest; the Grass Widow (Olsynium douglasii) is a member of the Iris family and the sole representative of its genus in the United States.
Every year we find it blooming in late March and early April. Hopefully, it's not toxic to horses.
Here's a poem in its honor from one of my favorite poets:
The Wild Iris
by Louise Gluck
At the end of my suffering
there was a door.
Hear me out: that which you call death
Overhead, noises, branches of the pine shifting.
Then nothing. The weak sun
flickered over the dry surface.
It is terrible to survive
buried in the dark earth.
Then it was over: that which you fear, being
a soul and unable
to speak, ending abruptly, the stiff earth
bending a little. And what I took to be
birds darting in low shrubs.
You who do not remember
passage from the other world
I tell you I could speak again: whatever
returns from oblivion returns
to find a voice:
from the center of my life came
a great fountain, deep blue
shadows on azure seawater.