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Word of the day: ephemeral

Mother and daughter floral designers Kathy, left, and Olivia Grady were inspired by the colors of Elise Freda’s “Magenta Morning” at the ephemeral “Art in Bloom” exhibit at the DVAA.

July 17, 2013

Words. Can’t get enough of them. My ongoing love affair with language continues to flourish as I constantly strive to find new ways with which to describe my adventures here in the Upper Delaware Valley. Although today’s word is no stranger to me, it cropped up repeatedly over the last week, and so I decided to flip through the dictionary, lest I be using it improperly.

Ephemeral—(adjective): Lasting for a very short time. Fashions are ephemeral… Having a very short life cycle (chiefly of plants).

Seeking a bit more, I turned to my BFF (the Thesaurus) for clarification, where I found: transitory, transient, fleeting, passing, short-lived, momentary, brief, short; temporary, impermanent.

Ephemera takes many forms: letters, paintings, even (gasp!) newspapers and the words written in them. The natural world is no stranger to this concept either, always changing, rarely stagnant, and capricious by definition. Checking in with Wikipedia, I noted that water was an overall theme in Wiki’s interpretation, which states that “An ephemeral water body is a wetland, spring, stream, river, pond or lake that exists only for a short period following precipitation or snow melt.”

Heeding these words, I took a quick dip in the lake, grabbed a leash, tossed the still-wet wonder dog into the truck and headed out the door in anticipation of “Art in Bloom,” one of three exhibitions debuting consecutively at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA) in Narrowsburg, NY. While two of the installations are on view through August 3 (, the third was (by definition) ephemeral, and it is already gone. Curated by Jane Luchsinger, the group exhibition coupled the talents of local artists and floral designers, who according to Luchsinger, “were paired up by drawing names from a hat” and was “inspired by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts yearly shows based on the same theme.” The program said that “each arrangement is a visual interpretation of a painting or sculpture, which is also on display. The arrangements do not mimic the art, but designers use the palette and theme as the basis of their floral composition.” Judging by the huge turnout and the (IMHO) incredibly successful endeavor, I can only imagine that “Art in Bloom” will return next summer and therefore give the artists, florists and general public a fresh (and fragrant) opportunity to check in again same time/next year.