Land of Enchantment


Welcome, wild harbinger of spring! To this small nook of earth; Feeling and fancy fondly cling, Round thoughts which owe their birth, To thee, and to the humble spot, Where chance has fixed thy lowly lot.

-Bernard Barton

Last night I wandered back to the farm in my dreams. The warm spring breeze yesterday had awakened precious memories of my youth.

At the first sign of real spring, off I’d trek with Dad to the far corner of the pasture. Such a familiar route. Through the gates, turn our feet west, walk along the bluff until the trees gave way to wide open prairie. Turn south and walk until we entered the spruce forest. Wind our way along the paths, reach the sand hill clearing, turn a bit to the left, walk around a grove of trees, steps slowing in anticipation of what lay ahead. And there it was, as always. A magic carpet, woven with threads of delicate mauve and fuzzy grey-green. The prairie crocus, our provincial floral emblem, my own definition of a spring miracle.

My feet will never trace that path again, except in my dreams. I wonder if those who have the land now will find the secrets that generations of my family knew so well. Crocuses in April. Wild violets in another enchanted spot in May. Gentians in June. Wild roses, lilies, the ever so rare wild ladyslipper, wild berries galore. Hazelnuts in autumn. If they find the secrets, will they feel any sense of wonder and awe?

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