When I was growing up in a small town in the northeast corner of Ohio, every spring was welcomed with a miracle. The forest floor in the municipal forest erupted in a glory of wildflowers. Much of the forest is floodplain, beech and sycamore predominate, on higher ground large stands of conifers. The wildflower carpet was composed largely of Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica) with Trilliums (T. grandiflorum, erectum, cuneatum and a few others,) Hepaticas, Spring Beauties (Claytonia virginica,) Marsh Marigolds (Caltha palustris,) and other ephemerals. I first learned to love native flora there and have carried the memory of that landscape in my heart and mind's eyes ever since.
I got an email from an old friend who has moved back to our hometown to care for aging parents. She is involved in a fund-raising art auction to support the forest. I was immediately thrown back to the sensations of wandering the paths through that explosion of color and abundance. A balm for a flagging, apartment-bound spirit.