Saturday, May 23, 2009

Flowerspeak III

Good Saturday, all. Hope you got a little extra sleep this morning like I did, followed by your favorite wake-up beverage.

On the writing contest, your emails and comments let me know you really enjoyed it and found the editing suggestions helpful, so we'll do it again soon. And when Nannette Croce, Editor Extraordinaire, finishes her critiques, I'll see about posting some examples so we can all glimpse another editorial mind at work. I love win-win situations. :)

Winners' prizes are in the mail, but as two are going abroad, it might take a while.

You shared with me some of your favorite flowers last week, and one of you talked about passion flowers. Not being familiar, I did a bit of research. That same day, a dear nurse friend of my mom's brought her some from her garden. Ah, synchronicity!

Passion Flower (Passiflora Incarnata): Found worldwide except in Europe, Africa and Antarctica, this variety flourishes in the U.S. Different members of this family produce edible fruit. The Maypop's leaves and roots were used by Native Americans and colonists for teas and painkilling applications. [More here at Wikipedia.]

In the 15th Century, Spanish Missionaries noticed much symbolism between the flower and the last days of Christ:

  • The pointed leaf tips represent the Holy Lance which pierced Jesus' side before He died.
  • The flowers' tendrils resemble the whips used to punish Christ.
  • The faithful Apostles (minus St. Peter the denier and Judas the betrayer) are represented by the flower's 10 petals and sepals.
  • Radial filaments, which can number over 100, resemble the Crown of Thorns.
  • The chalice-shaped ovary with its receptacle symbolize a hammer (for the nails used to crucify Christ), or the Holy Grail.
  • The three stigmata represent the nails, and the 5 antlers below them, the wounds of Christ (four by the nails, one by the lance).
  • The blue and white colors of many passion flowers represent heaven and purity.

Why do I find that particularly fascinating? Because I love symbolism found in nature as well as literature. It's another way we are "spoken to" if our ears are attuned.

Has nature whispered to you lately? What did you hear?


The Unbreakable Child said...

Morning Angie. I love my Mimosa trees surrounding my farm cottage. The way the leaves seem to fold and pray if you touch them or in the evening. I have to go look the tree up, but I believe it symbols 'tree of life.' Happy Saturday.

Barb said...

Hi Angie,
You put me in mind of the Victorian custom of flowers having particular meanings. I wonder how many girls worried over if the flowers really meant what she thought, or if the man had just randomly selected them!

Flower Meanings

Linda said...

Well, the whispering from nature that I've heard is my garden calling me to rid it of some dastardly weeds. That's where I'll be today! Have a wonderful weekend.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Unbreakale Kimmi (Hey, that may be my new name for you!): Can I come stay at your farm? Love me some mimosas!

Barb, thanks for the link. I wondered the same thing when someone told me recently a flower's meaning was that of departure.

LOL, Linda. I hear the same thing real often, but the earplugs come in real handy for that! Have a great weekend yourself.

Sandra Leigh said...

Heh. I mowed the lawn (again) on Thursday. The rest of the plants will just have to wait until I'm finished blogging.

Yesterday, I sat beside a waterfall and watched the peaceful stream above me boil with rage, fall, then recover and resume its seaward journey. At the time, I was struck by the symbolism. Your post brought that moment back to me. Thank you for the reminder.

Red Bird said...

My, that was interesting, Angie- I didn't know all that about the Passion Flower! Thanks!

Rebecca Woodhead said...

Has nature whispered to me recently? Yes, a bee woke me up this morning. What did I hear? 'Buzz.'

The tree outside my window fills with birds in the early morning and I often wake to the dawn chorus. I love the fact that birds sing in the day regardless of worm shortages or cat invasions. They just sing to be alive.

If you are curious about what happened after the intro to my short story by the way, I've put it up on my blog. Hope it makes you chuckle.

Cheffie-Mom said...

Lovely flowers! I'm so excited because our Mimosa tree, which has never bloomed - bloomed this week! It's beautiful! Have a wonderful weekend!

kimmi said...

Hehee, just had to check back in to see if I made it to first today, and to answer you. Yes, yes, I was just telling Jamie to grab you and Kat and head my way either in August or Sept for an all girls rule week slumber party at the cottage ; )

ps, I'm lazy, letting google put in my account name.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Oh, I see the winners below - will have to check them out!

I love sunflowers - big sunny sunflowers :)

Debbie said...

Isn't it amazing when life does that - you think of flowers and they appear? I hope you are having a good Saturday.

Thomma Lyn said...

What a nifty post, about nature speaking. I go on regular mountain hikes, and yes, flowers and trees and even the mountain breezes seem to have their own languages. Lately, I've been looking after a brood of tadpoles in a stream near one of my favorite trails. The mountain is my second home, so nature is a regular and much-loved companion.

Wonderful blog you have here! I followed you over from Kimmi's. :)

Rebecca Woodhead said...

Hi Angie. This came into my inbox today. Are you involved with it or is it just a coincidence?

Angie Ledbetter said...

Sandra, wish I could see your stream. Sounds gorgeous.

I bet you could come up with a great poem on the subject, Red Brid.

Rebecca, hope to check out your adventure today!

I love mimosa blooms, Cheffie. Little fringed fairy umbrellas.

kimmi, I'll keep a suitcase packed for that. :)

You'll love the winning entries, Kat! Sunflowers really are beauties.

Debbie, ditto to you and your good weekend.

So glad you came by, Thomma Lyn! Would love to see those little tadpoles on their journey. :)

Rebecca, I wrote the guy months ago after Googling him and seeing he began his enterprise just a month or so after my blog name went up. Told him what a "coincidence" he has the same name, only in the plural. :(

Michelle said...

Hi Angie

I was popping in to say hi and leave you a song, which (don't you love the humour of the Universe?)is a song called... BEAUTIFUL FLOWER. LOL

Lori Tiron-Pandit said...

I had no idea that was the symbolism of the passion flower, but it's so interesting. I think it's fascinating to uncover these kind of "secret" meanings attached to everything.

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