nurturing home: flowers!

If you've been visiting for a while, you know how much I love flowers; not only do they bring beauty, fragrance, and pleasure into my home and life, but their seasonal succession keeps me deeply connected to the cycle of the year, and this connection is essential to my well being & spiritual practice! So yes, flowers are sacred. There is a reason they are present on altars of all kinds, and that they tend to appear at all major life occasions, celebrations, and rituals. Here is the common lilac, with her rich fragrance and Victorian charm. Lilacs came to Europe from the sacred gardens of Persia in the 16th Century. We think of them now as a common door yard flower, but for centuries the lilac was the exotic botanical prize of the aristocracy, beloved by Louis XIV and the Empress Josephine, and associated with the mysteries of the East. An aura of mystery still clings to the lilac. To the ancient Greeks, the lilac was a flower of Hades. The Persians named the lilac for the mysterious beauty of deep twilight. In Voudon, the extract of lilac is a traditional ingredient used in conjuring. In England, the Victorians lined their coffins with lilacs, but the French preferred to strew them upon wedding beds! My own associations are with my childhood on the East Coast, where a great, heirloom lilac bush bloomed in the kitchen dooryard of our old farmhouse. The bouquet shown here is now on my bedside table, filling the bedroom with heady fragrance. Yum! The vase, by the way, is one of my new latte cups. Also yum. Are the lilacs blooming where you are? Do they hold memories and associations for you? Where does the fragrance take you? Can you go out today and pick an armful and bring them inside?

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