Sometimes during the cold winter nights I am comforted to think of a clan of Bloodroot plants I know and how they patiently wait in the earth for the coming of spring. These plants (also known as Sanguinaria canadensis) live in a little forest community, a Bloodroot village, on a sheltered hillside along the trail leading from my house to the nearby Harpeth River. I often think of them there, my Bloodroot neighbors, lying in the earth, waiting until the time has come to herald another spring.
When the nights are frozen and my fireplace blazes, I think of the Bloodroots waiting patiently underground in the cold clear moonlight that stripes the night forest with shadow. Silently in the dark they wait. Beneath a gray and brown quilt stitched of leaves and humus, they wait. Snug in their forest bed, quiet as the night, the Bloodroot waits for the first hints of spring.
Though the nights are long and the cold is deep, winter does not last forever. The seasons cycle endlessly as the earth circles round its star and tilts this way and that. The days grow shorter, then longer, and the Bloodroot waits.
Year after year, night after day, under stars and moon, the Bloodroot waits. It waits as I wait (though perhaps the Bloodroot waits more patiently). Through the long winter, we both wait, the Bloodroot and I, for the warming sunny days of early spring and the party to follow.