Looking for yet another place (not my office, not my living room) to catch up on some work, to make it somehow enjoyable, I took myself to the Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton. Certainly the most iconic of Edmonton’s structures, the Conservatory shall be celebrating its 40th anniversary later this year. These 4 glass pyramids encasing Temperate, Arid, and Tropical zones plus an ever-changing Feature area serve as botanical oases throughout all seasons.
And Edmonton has seasons – real seasons! It was about 27 degrees Celsius in the beautiful, green and flower-adorned park surrounding the Conservatory today. In fall, the medium yellows of poplar trees, and reds, purples, and oranges of neighbourhood shrubs, harken the oncoming of winter. And WHAT A WINTER. Temperatures in Edmonton often reach down to the -20s C and from time-to-time even more intense cold snaps will see the air change from breathable to dense and biting at the -30s or even -40s C.
But for today (or yesterday, technically as I write this) I thoroughly enjoyed my outdoor office, having brought my laptop and a neatly packed lunch in my little red Coleman cooler.
So what could any of this have to do with twilight? It doesn’t get dark in this part of the world until well past 9:30 or 10:00 pm this time of year, and I did not stay that late. It was a flower, a bright yellow flower inside the Temperate pyramid that so perfectly mimicked the last light of day: the sun often brightest and most brilliant as it hits the horizon, seemingly reaching up to get in one last exhalation of light. With its petals pushing upward, and the bright brilliance of this flower causing me to make a quiet exhalation and exultation of my own – “Wow!” – this flower is as the sunset: magnificent and never to be the same, never to be replicated and a gift to this earth.