We were visiting family at a beautiful camp located on an isolated peninsula of Upper Richardson Lake in western Maine. I decided to clear my mind with a long walk through the woodlands of this inspired area. The woods were so serene, but for the relentless buzz and bite of black flies. But the walk was so peaceful, I was even able to tune out even this distraction. I wanted to make positive change in my life and searched for clarity while exploring the vast alder thickets surrounding the quiet lake. I stopped in a mossy patch of heaven to rest and take in the details of this spot that felt so much like the exact place in needed to be. I took in all of the flora and evidence of fauna that called this place home. My focus soon revealed a pretty little flower that I have never seen before though I have walked many miles through the acres of Maine. Looking around, I noticed there were many of these unusual plants. As I adored the precious pink and white 3 petalled posy which I later learned was named Trillium, I felt a deep gratitude that I happened to be visiting while this woodland orchid was in bloom. I took a few snap shots so as not to forget the living symbol of serenity which helped me settle into my thoughts and hopes and clarify just how I would make that positive change in my life.
Upon returning home, I was eager to start drawing. Of course I started with the mystery plant, trillium. In accordance with my commitment, one drawing led to many which led to learning and eventually pretty patterns that I felt were worthy of sharing with the world. And so began my career in art licensing from the inspiration of a tiny plant from the woods of western Maine.
Four years later, having long since forgotten about this transforming moment in time, I decided to celebrate my 50th birthday in a very uncustomary way for this cardio junkie. I booked a last minute retreat to a Yoga Center in the Berkshires, Kripalu. I endured the yoga but was eager to experience the lectures I had signed up for, especially a session dedicated to clearing the clutter in our lives. I joined 20 or so other people who were also seeking a bit of simplicity in their busy lives. I was a bit nervous as the instructor revealed that she would guide us through a meditation which would release the clutter between our ears vs. the clutter on my dining room table as I had expected. I felt very vulnerable as I considered her approach, knowing that I was not one of those people who responded to guided meditation. But her voice was soothing and I had elected to pay for this after all, so I permitted myself to follow.
A deep breathing exercise was followed by the inevitable “take yourself to your happy place”. I cringed a little wondering if it should be the ocean or maybe a lake. Maybe it is a mountain top. But this time, I stopped the debate and just breathed a little deeper. I found myself feeling a sense of joy and even a little giddy. I hadn’t identified my happy place, but I did feel serene and safe. I felt the warmth of the sun peeking through the tree tops and the support of a tree trunk where I rested my back. I found myself surrounded by a soft bed of moss in the company of many precious pink and white 3 petalled posies. I had found my happy place. I bathed in the memory of my morning walk 4 years earlier and felt deep gratitude for all of the transformation in my life that started on that day, with the trillium. I had a deep sense that those trillium were there for me, to inspire me, to remind me, to keep me grounded and keep me on my path.
Athough I had been so quiet and inward during this retreat,I suddenly found myself wanting to share my experience. But it was too late and I was off to my next appointment. As fate would have it, I missed my appointment which had been inadvertently scheduled for the same time as the meditation. I decided to grab a snack and to my delight, found a number of my “classmates” speaking about their experience in the cafe area. I waited patiently for my turn. As I shared my story of my meditation and the trillium the bigger story of my commitment to change and the blessings I have realized in my life since that time, resonated with my peers. A young woman who was struggling with demons of her own, asked if I had time to talk more.
I shared with her my journey of recovery that started on the sunny spring morning. I shared about the people, indeed the fellowship, the love and prayers that supported me and helped me succeed in my growth and ambition. I hope in some small way it helped her.
Back at home, feeling renewed and refocused, I researched my special symbolic flower and after many google searches, I finally knew the name. The Trillium is a fragile, endangered spring ephemeral. It is said to be the flower which represents modest ambition. Sighting are extremely rare in Maine, with only 3 documented in 3 counties, not including the county mine appeared. How fortunate am I to have happened across that simple bloom which spurred such growth in me for years to come?