This week we had an ice storm come through our region. In Conestogo, everything got covered in a layer of ice—the roads, the trees, and the hydro lines—which meant that we were without power for a day (and we were lucky, many people didn’t have electricity for three or four days). While a lot of damage was done, it was also a very quiet time.
Not silent, but quiet. Outside in the forest behind our home, there were loud crashes as trees lost limbs or split in two under the unbearable weight of all the ice. And, into this ice word, I went for a walk into the field of woad.
The black plant stems had taken on a life of light, and each skeletal remain had been wrapped in flowing shapes. I had thought that the woad plants were finished for the year. But, where I expected only the reminder of life, the plants chattered to each other as their icy cocoons crackled in the wind. And where I thought that only a dead husk would remain, I stood in a little field of dormant plants that had new bodies alive with shapes—some of which even played by balancing tiny balls on their finger tips!
By the time I got back inside my fingers were frozen and my cheeks red with cold, but the quiet woad plants in Conestogo had shown me something new about colour, death and beauty.