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Alone Together: Rachel Penny

April 30, 2020

My mom has a beautiful habit, every spring and summer, of sharing her glee when things begin to turn green again. We’ll be driving or walking along somewhere and she’ll burst out “look at all this GREEN! We can finally exhale, spring has, in fact, returned!”. It’s a habit I’ve adopted—when the seasons turn and the world seems to be waking up I walk around feeling a concussive awe at the fact that it’s all happening again.

Every spring I worry that I’m going to miss it—that I won’t pay enough attention to the new growth happening all around me, and it will be over before I’ve been able to be a good witness. The long daily walks that have now become a part of my routine have eased this feeling a little. I’m grateful for the chance to really take in my neighbourhood’s beautiful gardens, to be tuned in to the subtle shifts in what’s growing. It’s been a balm to see all the greens (and yellows and blues and purples and reds) in my neighbours’ gardens, so lovingly tended, but the plant that has stopped me in my tracks (now, lately, always) is actually an evergreen, constant all winter.

The Golden Thread Cypress is a portal and a source: it generates its own light. The golden colour of the needles shifts with every new angle, un-pin-down-able. It is brimming with its own aliveness. I’m convinced that if you listened closely, you might hear a faint electric buzz coming from the tip of each needle. Taking time with this shrub opens something up in my chest and reminds me that I’m also rooted into the earth, permeable and part of an endless exchange of energy—of magic.


And when I pause, I listen more carefully—tuning in to the deep thrumming sound that’s out there, the energy of constant renewal and light that’s passing through us all.

— Rachel Penny

Rachel Penny is a performing arts producer currently participating in The Theatre Centre’s Creative Producer Training Program.


Alone Together is a series of shared stories by The Theatre Centre. Over the next several weeks, our team is going to offer you some of our own personal joys, those things that nudge us, the arms that extend to us in the dark, those things that catch our hearts off guard. And we’d love to hear from you in return… what’s blowing your heart open these days?