Violets have over two hundred folk names and most of them are reminiscent of sex or love. In addition, their leaves are heart shaped, giving them a place of honor in our Romancing Herbs series in honor of Valentine's Day!
Like the rose, the color of the violet has great significance in sending messages. Blue violets promise "My love will always be true", purple send the message, "I return your love." White signifies "I'm willing to take a chance on happiness". They also represents modesty and humility as they hide their spectacular beauty under heart shaped leaves.
One story comes from Venus asking her son Cupid if he thought she was more attractive than a group of maidens playing along the edge of the woods. He said he found the maidens to be more beautiful so she beat them until they were blue. Since then, because of their association with Venus, they have been associated with love and romance. Huh?
Another legend suggests at one time violets were white, but Mary's grief at seeing the suffering of Jesus on the cross turned them all blue. She has been associated with the modesty of the Virgin Mary, the Angel Gabriel, the Holy Trinity, and Greek and Roman legends and lore. Athens has been referred to as the "Violet Crowned City" Napoleon returned from exile in the spring and used the violet in a secret code to determine loyalty. This tiny, delicate little flower has an endless significance in all aspects of history.
In addition to the legends, there are recipes for aphrodisiacs, love portions, candied violets, beauty products. I had planned to do the iris this spring, similar to the Rose legend and lore e-book, but the violet may win out!
My favorite use for violets is sprinkled on a tossed green salad when she first appears in the spring. She is rich in vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants. Add strawberries, orange sections, and avocado. My poppy seed dressing from an earlier blog post is the perfect salad dressing.
Exploring Rainbows and summaries of our classes to date - Rainbows, Red, Orange and Yellow, can be found here.
This was originally posted on October 28, 2012.
It seems even more appropriate now than it did then.
My dear friend Ramesh Jain posted this in his newsletter. Written by Dr. Bob Moorehead, former pastor of Seattle’s Overlake Christian Church.
A Paradox of Our Time . . .
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness..
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.
We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.
Relationships are not about holding hands while you understand each other……..!
They are about having lots of misunderstanding
and still holding each other’s hands…..!
(Centre for Spiritual Evolution and Joyful Living)
The first day of trout was the closest Saturday to April 15th when I lived in the fishing cabin. This time of year I always feel a little homesick. Maybe eventually this time of year will come and go without my looking back.
While I was at the cabin I started painting the local fish on everything that wouldn't move - clothes, rocks, walls, my business card. An ichthyologist from Penn State helped me identify all of the fish in the creek. My pumpkin seed fish landed me a job illustrating a children's book. So many magical memories.
This is the lucky "Kiss my bass" fish. I put it by my neighbor's door in the morning and in a few hours he caught a prize winning fish!
Recently I've been reviewing values associated with colors for my rainbow course. It's time to redo my Values map based on the appropriate colors. Creating maps is such a great way to process. My next one will be a flower garden with seeds or maybe a rainbow. Either way, I want to use more color symbolism.
In the midst of our exciting new Friendship Garden business and website, half way through my Exploring Rainbows course (now working on green), and being lost in a book one of my participants brought me - A Perfect Red - reminders like Zimmerman'z "Promise Yourself" help keep me focused. Hope you'll like this too!
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
Dr. Alan Zimmerman
If waters are placid, the moon will be mirrored perfectly. If we still ourselves, we can mirror the divine perfectly. But if we engage solely in the frenetic activities of our daily involvements, if we seek to impose our own schemes on the natural order, and if we allow ourselves to become absorbed in self-centered views, the surface of our waters becomes turbulent. Then we cannot be receptive to Tao.
There is no effort that we can make to still ourselves. True stillness comes naturally from moments of solitude where we allow our minds to settle. Just as water seeks its own level, the mind will gravitate toward the holy. Muddy water will become clear if allowed to stand undisturbed, and so too will the mind become clear if it is allowed to be still.
- Deng Ming-Dao, from 365 Tao, Daily Meditations
It seemed only fair that I join you in looking for red, so I attended the Catch a Rainbow exhibit at Rawlings Conservatory. Beautiful shades of red were in the Rainbow exhibit as well as the Mediterranean House, Tropical House, Desert House, Orchid House and Palm House.
After the exhibit, the search for all things red continued with a cheese and salami platter with red wine at Birroteca.
Put on your rose colored glasses and consider looking at the world in a different perspective this week. In our rainbow course, Exploring Rainbows, I've encouraged the class participants to seek out red.
Red is the color of extremes. It stimulates, excites and inspires action. It is associated with love and joy, passion, sex, anger and rage. Spending some time to learn more about the color can unfold in a variety of ways. I'm calling their homework "Homeplay". There are a number of ways to play. Join us!
1. The first is by simply being observant. Look for red in advertising logos, clothes, foods, in movies and television, internet posts, sports teams. Notice super hero, cartoons and mascots dressed in red. Listen for references to the color red in songs and in phrases and quotes. Look for references to red in other cultures, fairy tales and fables, religious and spiritual association. Be aware of how red is used in art - fine art, crafts, mandalas, mosaics, stained glass.
2. The next level of participation is becoming actively involved. Put on your favorite red sweater and the ruby ring tucked in the back of the dresser drawer that you haven't thought about for ages. Go to a restaurant with a red interior - you can find one by doing a google search on 'restaurants, red and the name of your town'. Order red foods and look around the restaurant for shades of red.
You can go to a museum or gallery, purposefully looking for red in paintings, collages and sculptures. When was red used? Was red used more often in certain time periods? Not at all in others? Why? Do certain artists use it more than others? Attend light shows, festivals and fairs, wearing red and seeking out the color. Are you more likely to find red associate with certain cultures? What are they? Do more research and discover how they view red, currently and historically.
3. Another way to play with red is to become immersed by creating something red! Get out the paints, yarn, or fabric. Head to the market, gather foods in various shades of red, then go home to your kitchen to play with the fragrances and flavors of red. While you're cooking and creating, play songs with red in the title. Visit a garden center and see how many flowers and plants (many plants have red in the leaves) in different shades of red. Take some home to plant in your garden or buy some potted geraniums for your front porch.
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!