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The Trials of Paeonia from Euphorbia Obessa
by Kate Middleton
by Kate Middleton

Life-long organic gardener and composter. Created media relations and public education strategy on climate change for David Phillips at Canada’s Weather Service in 1982. Media relations for The United Church of Canada, Canadian Council of Churches, South African Council of Churches and World Council of Churches mid 1980s. Toronto Backyard and Community Composting Program 1990-97 Officer and Advisor. Garden coach Council Fire, Regent Park. Founder and contact Almaguin Highlands Seedy Saturdays. Columnist Great North Arrow. Blog

Horticulture society executive. Resident high risk crime area.

March 26, 2019

Dear Reader,

So much has happened in such a short time! Like the snow disappearing as I breath, Paeonia has just rushed in as I was on my third crossword to tell me exciting news. She has been frustrated of late. A doer, and a shaker, she was silting up and feeling stagnant, and not just from the long winter.

Recently, she has attended the Tulips of Three Mile Lake meeting and was greatly disturbed. Sitting is hard for her, as it is, but this was too much. After an excellent speaker the business section went on for hours, hours, and not only that, she, and all those present were rung up and down in a tirade not even seemly for a two year old, from the president.

So, she was up for a change. It was then, as she was cleaning the windows with a local paper that she noted a meeting of the Powassan Phaeleonopsis Society, that very night. The speaker was a noted peace-keeper from the UN’s environment program and the topic was “Collegial Groups and how to grow them”. Well, anything with “grow” in it stuck to her cranium like glue.

So, off she went, leaving early for the 80 kilometre drive north. The meeting was at the back of the town all seasons room, spacious and warm, with a thick odour of freshly made coffee and baked goods, even gluten free ones, on plates. Immediately attendee after attendee welcomed her, offered her libations and yet more food and she sat down into one of the plush, comfy chairs to continue in several discussions.

The speaker was short, but sweet. Forget the rigid structure and executives of the past and embrace an open decision-making process where everyone was respected and bad behaviour, rudeness, yelling and shaming were things of the past. There was a hush in the room. As the speaker went on, “No one has time for Robert’s Rules in a war zone, but neither do we embrace chaos, with respect and equal time to talk and discuss much can be done.”

Then, they had a quick Q and A and entered the business part of the meeting. The chair suggested to table the business and email and mail the info to everyone and discuss, instead, areas of interest of those attending. Maria Morning Glory mentioned that she had to boat across the river as the swing bridge was frozen parallel to the banks.

Well, that provoked a lively discussion. Soon they had broken into small groups, each looking at the problem a different way, reconvened and all spontaneously agreed on a simple solution. That night they reconvened at the bridge, carried out their concepts under cloak of darkness, and the bridge swung, once again to meet at the road on both ends. Maria Morning Glory walked across it to her car, and drove home.

Oh, and they also decided to burn their constitution, change their name to the Powassan Orchid Society, or POS (not p-o-s, like pissed off but pos, like positive). No one could even spell their former name well enough to look it up in the dictionary!

And Peony changed the spelling of her name and was positively beaming as she told me of the plans for their next meeting.

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