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October 2014, vol 10 no 3

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Mary Frederick Ahearn

Trailing Arbutus


She grew up in the shadow of Katy Jane Mountain, a farm girl from upstate Pennsylvania, "up home" as she would always call it. When she married, she moved down country to these gentle, rolling hills so different from home. But she found her way as she searched for the early spring wildflowers along these new creeks, woods and hillsides. Instinct and patience were her guides. In time she taught us how to find the first trillium, trout lilies, anemones, and jack-in-the-pulpits. Our legacy.

light rain
on the pond
Spring Peepers

What she couldn't find was the flower she loved most, the trailing arbutus, the mayflower, elusive enough in the rocky uplands and ravines of the Allegheny Mountains of home. Even there you had to look among last year's fallen leaves and litter for the small, creamy pink flowers with their sweet, spicy fragrance. Some things, though, remain hidden no matter how long the search, how good the intention.

kneeling
to cup the flower
a prayer she knew




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