The trillium are in full bloom at Trout Creek,
wearing their white petals like a regal ermine stole.
They blossom early here in southern Michigan; their northern kin won’t be out for another few weeks.
When we first began living in Michigan in the summers, Memorial Day weekends were set aside for the work of opening up: raking, splitting wood, fixing potholes in the 2-track lane, and getting fresh linens on the beds. My clearest memories of those times, aside from the uncontainable thrill to be up north on the cusp of school letting out, was the deep green of the woods carpeted with hundreds of the pink-tinged white of the trilliums’ nodding heads. Like the first robin, and the April earthworm escaping a flooded tunnel, the sight of trillium throughout the forest was
a beauty almost too tender, too holy to behold.
Even today, it brings on a euphoria like few other experiences can.
Maybe that is because northern Michigan has always represented freedom (from the tedium and demands of school especially), and the beauty of lakes and dunes and deep, blue skies (suburban Chicago was a spidery, tentacled cage made of steel and cement and insipid cookie-cutter subdivisions). Even today, turning the car northward sparks a tiny flame of delight that fans itself into joy with each passing mile.
Trillium. A three-petaled lily. (Did you know that flowers with just 3 petals are rare?). Protected. Herald of the north.
A triune beauty that speaks to the nature of God.
Keep your eyes peeled for the trillium, nodding to greet the longer days and welcome the wanderer, the seeker, the tired and worn.
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