A Trail of Daisies
Drop into your senses and let the Earth speak to you. With a little help from the daisies.
I was walking by a large cluster of daisies in the park, when I heard their songs and whispers.
“Come along, we have something to tell you.”
I kneeled down to listen.
“Let us in” said the daisies, “lower down your barriers.” And so I did, as they uploaded yottabytes of gifts into my cells.
Sensory memories came flooding in, of the times I was a toddler, and of the times I was the Earth itself.
I am lying down on a soft, warm bed of spring grass and daisies. Sensing the scent and sight of my little flower friends and their shrill voices in my body.
I am both a human and the earth, the daisies make me giggle inside. A glimpse of my grandmother approaching: “daughter, let’s pick a few of those, so we can make medicine.”
Next, my skin remembers the soothing cool of the daisy poultice after too much sun, and the drops of relief its tinctures sends down my throat during winter coughs.
I turn into a mixture of mashed daisies, oil and honey, excited to heal the little girl and become part of her. What a beautiful existence.
Past-present-future melt into one and my body sinks more deeply into the ground. I sit up, caress the earth gently. “Thank you. Thank you so much. How did I get so lucky? What will it take for more of this to show up?”
I hear the joyful chirping of the daisies again: “Bring our gifts to other people. All of them.” “Oh, that will take a life time” I think to myself.
“So start now,” giggle the flowers. “Start with this.” Then they airdrop an image to my head:
Park visitors and the neighbours walking the trail of daisies, having a sensory experience. The flowers would like to flood humans with their gifts: “Invite them to meet us.”
“I can do that,” I say. “We can put up signs, with your own words. But it will take me a while to get to it by myself. Is there some I could cocreate with?” A picture of my friend Yazmín pops up in my head.
I send her a video message mentioning the idea. “Great” she texts back. “It’s all very natural to me, it’s part of being mindful.”
“That’s why I contacted you,” I say. What will it take to welcome others into that space? And how will the signs work?”
“Meet me there tomorrow evening” Yazmín replies. “I’m bringing cardstock, markers and sticks.”
As her son starts his baseball practice in the field, Yazmín and I go on a walk and visit the daisies. She is overjoyed at the sight. “They really are singing.”
We let the daisies in and have a few moments of brainstorming. There are specific considerations:
I wish to let the daisies to speak through the signs, using as little text as possible. I’d like to engage people’s senses, not their minds.
Yazmín wants to make sure they don’t step on daisies. “Is that what’s going to happen if we say ‘Walk with us’? How else can we say it?”
She has another desire, “what if we invited people to a sense of belonging with nature?”
“So what would the daisies say, then?” I ask.
“You are always welcome here” she smiles. Daisies nod in agreement.
The words still need to go on the paper. Neither of us is keen to improvise hand-lettering on the crooked baseball bleachers. “Oh I know who would do this with ease” Yazmín giggles. We walk to the other end of the field to meet her husband, an artist and architect. “Sure, of course” says Jorge and holds the loose deck of paper on his lap as he prints the letters.
It takes him only a few minutes. By the time he’s done, their son Oliver joins us, “oh! Can I be the one to hold the tape?” Together, we build the signs and make sure they stand firmly in the ground. Sighs of gratitude and wonder…
The sun is setting now and the daisies are chirping with delight.
“Look at what we have created…”
What magic will unfold from here?
Daisies are probably coming to a patch of earth near you, too. Listen closely, especially through the cracks of concrete sidewalks in your city. Let me know what their magic awakens in you. Feel free to leave a response or message me on Instagram. While you are there, watch the short video I created of my walk with daisies. Thank you!
Trout Lake Daisy Walk or Trail of Daisies is an impromptu and interactive nature installation created by Nihan Sevinç and Yazmín Palos in collaboration with the land and its flowers for Earth Day 2021. It took place at Trout lake Park in Vancouver BC, Canada. We are grateful to be living and creating on these unceded, ancestral, traditional lands of the the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
Thank you land. Thank you our host Nations. Thank you thank you thank you.