The Lady’s Slippers Have Bloomed in the Forest

I wander the woods in search of the blooming Lady’s Slipper Orchids, and today I find them. If you remember, eight years ago, I learned what it meant to live in community right where I am when I first discovered them. You can read the post here. 

Today, I learn a little about the Native American folklore surrounding this orchid: a maiden ran barefoot through the forest in search of medicine for her tribe, but she collapsed on the way with frozen, swollen feet. In the place where she died, the forest bloomed with Lady’s Slipper Orchids to honor her bravery. The Native Americans also used the roots of this orchid as medicine.

I love thinking about the story told of these forest orchids. I love all that they represent and all the beauty they hold deep in the shaded woods.

I also love this: It’s nearly impossible to see the orchids. I cannot explain it. They seem invisible until you spot just one, and then you can train your eye to see them all. They blend in–which seems so strange because of the pink color–but they do somehow dissolve against the background of the forest. My neighbor and I suddenly spotted just one, and then we realized all at once that we were standing in the midst of twenty or so. It’s an enchanted find!

 

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