Trunk of Shaggy Bark Tree
By Lydia Wherry
The welcome of spring and the coming of Easter in this year, 2021, brings with it more weight and meaning, it seems, as we have long been arrested in this COVID valley laced with love and suffering. Last Easter was but the beginning of what would become a year-long trek through the wilderness, a time of self-reflection, steady and prayerful days bending towards a survival of the human race. As paralleled in the Christian story of Jesus’ walk into the wilderness, His ultimate suffering and sacrifice for us and the house of hope and faith erected upon an Easter miracle, so have we been steadily walking and pacing, dwelling in such a house for many months, yearning for hints of survival. Yet, the signs of hope eternal, a rebirth that spring’s glory brings with it are here now. The earth has given birth all at once this year, rewarding us with explosive fragrance and color, a dusting of yellow, atop this super-sized “sundae” as if to say, stay, you have been here before, I have been here before, we will be here again and so we begin our journey, renewed.
I took a walk in the wilderness about a week ago bearing witness to the return of beauty, born out of a barren, winter landscape. Karyn Bland of Edgefield led us on a hike along Wine Creek out Plum Branch Road. Tiny “hellos” of Crane Fly Orchid, Blisterwort, Trout Lilies and Purple Violets repeated themselves along our path. A SabalPalmetto, the South Carolina state palmetto, greeted us at the trailhead, this one being a dwarf version. Close by, a Resurrection Fern was happily married to a tree trunk. We saw remnants of a Foam Flower, which had already spiked forth like a furry pipe cleaner.
The rock formations along the creek bed and scattered about to the left and right of the path are remarkable. Although we were unable to identify them, they are equally as valuable and worth further study.
Wine creek was busy. The canopy is coming. The winter is ending and this virus will one day soon fade away. It’s nice to become part of a familiar rhythmagain.