Welcome this Monday morning. Firstly, my apologies, I was unwell last week and didn’t post here. Secondly, I want to introduce what I hope will be a feature of the blog for a while, Blooming lovely Mondays.
Those of you who know me well know I have a passion for flowers. This idea of flowers and flower lore comes from that and I’d like to share a little of the things I know.
My first blooming flower is the exquisite and precious Snowdrop. Personally, I adore this courageous and brave flower.
This small bloom stands, even if its head is drooping with the chill and damp, it stands its ground and proclaims to all winter can’t command it. Every February my heart is lifted on the first sight of Snowdrops, be they in my garden, in the lanes I drive along, or in the woods where little else offers a show of life.
Some call the Snowdrop unlucky, a flower of death. Perhaps that might be because it is often found in churchyards, possibly the idea might also come as so often this flower is stronger than us, and though it refuses to succumb to the chill of winter, humans do. February, the month of the Snowdrop is one of the most difficult months of winter for us to bear. We feel the end of the cold is near and even on days of real chill, when the sun appears we act as if Spring had bloomed, going out without the wraps and woollens worn in January. Therefore, we get chills, colds and coughs. February fools us with its still and sunny days.
There are legends of the Snowdrop. Some tell it was the first Valentine gift, granting sight to and a girl when she applied the extract sent by her imprisoned lover. Her sight returned by a balm made from this flower the first thing she saw was the note stating this gift came from: Your Valentine.
Another legend is equally astonishing for this tiny and fragile bloom. It is told that when God created the earth he gave colour to everything but snow and wind. Naturally both these elements were disgruntled with their lack and at the end of the first winter they refused to leave the land until God gave them a hue of their own. However, it seems God had used most of the primary colours and many shades of them. Too many in fact for either wind or snow to accept what might be left. Eager to save the lovely world from the freezing chill, God called for any of the creations to share their colour with snow and wind. Each that he asked refused, but for the noble Snowdrop who agreed to share the pristine whiteness of its blossom with snow. I just love that, I don’t recollect what colour wind managed to grab a hold of, but the bravery of this snowdrop makes me love it.
This flower often blooms on Candlemass day or Lamas day in the northern hemisphere. Sometimes they are called Candlemass Bells or Fair Maids of February. There are customs that warn these beauties shouldn’t be picked nor brought into the house for if they are, a death will surely follow. Now, I don’t know about that but I am glad people are discouraged from picking these lovely flowers. If they are cut or picked they don’t bloom again and what a sadness that would be, to lose a patch of hope from the winter landscape for one individuals pleasure.
I prefer to let the Snowdrops in my garden stand until they fade away. They are the heralds of Spring and I will await them next year as the greedy winter finally let’s go its grip on the land.