Last night I had a strange dream that led me to the camas fields.
In my dream, a woman I know visited me at my childhood home in Seattle. She said, "I understand you're planting native species in your yard. You really should plant Zigadenus Elegans." She motioned toward a box of beautiful white flowers on the ground near her feet. She then removed one of the flowers from the box and handed it to me.
As I examined the white flower, something felt terribly wrong. "I don't want these," I said to myself.
I began to sift through the white flowers in the box, looking for one that would make me happy. None of the white flowers gave me any sense of enjoyment or peace. Instead, I managed to find several blue flowers hidden in the mix. "These are the ones I'll choose for my garden," I said.
Then I woke up.
All morning the name of that plant rattled in my brain, Zigadenus Elegans. I know I saw that name someplace before, but I couldn't remember where. Finally, a quick Google search revealed the common name of the plant: Death Camas.
The words startled me. Why did that woman want me to plant death camas in my yard? What is the message I'm supposed to take away? What meaning might this plant have in my life?
Impelled by my haunting dream images, I drove to the one place I had seen death camas before. I wanted to see the plant again up close and maybe take a few pictures. Unfortunately, I found out that death camas doesn't flower just yet.
On the positive side, I did find the pleasant blue flowers from my dream: the brown camas. This plant is a traditional food of the Plateau Salish tribes. The flower is blue, but the white starchy bulbs turn dark brown when cooked, hence the name brown camas.