Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mother's Day Wishes to You

I read any number of blogs and was reminded by more than a few of the fact that Mother's Day was nearly upon us. It got me to thinking about my Mother and the gift of creativity that she gave me. I learned most of my favorite past times at her knee. She taught me to sew and quilt, to draw and paint, the basics of knitting and needlepoint (Da was a big help here as we are both cack-handed) and she encouraged me in the pursuit my heart's desire art-wise. There were no boxes that we had to punch our way out of...

Sunday will be Mother's Day. I have no Mum or Grandmums or even a sister to wish well of the day as they have all gone before me. I, therefore send regards of the day to you.

Our family for whatever reason, was not much on sending flowers for occasions, special or otherwise. I'm still not entirely sure why that it. There is no one left to ask the question of, though. Be that as it may, until my mother passed away I always saw to it that a corsage of red and white carnations was delivered to her if I couldn't bring it myself.

When she started working the Sunday brunches at The Black Banana in Philadelphia, I would have the corsage of red and white carnations waiting in the cooler for her to wear while she was working on the line. Her co-workers thought it was a lovely little salute and she was always surprised when they were there as she gathered her ingredients for the day. Mum loved working the brunches as she thought it was a fun break on her day off from her own store, By Hand.

Now the color of the carnations has significance. Carnations are among the most popular cut flowers, used in floral arrangements, corsages, and boutonnieres. In Europe the carnation was formerly used as a treatment for fevers. It was also used to spice wine and ale during Elizabethan times, as a substitute for the more expensive clove.

In 1907, Miss Anna Jarvis selected the pink carnation as the symbol for Mother's Day. So, like the Day itself, it was Miss Jarvis who made carnations a part of Mother's Day. She introduced and supplied the carnations at the first Mother's Day service conducted in Grafton, West Virginia. The carnation was chosen because of her mother's fondness for them.

Maybe, at first, they were not exactly picked up on an emblematic sense. But they were immediately accepted as appropriate for the occasion. It was the inherent quality of sweetness, purity and endurance that made the carnations so popular on Mother's Day.

Later, white carnations, with their sweet fragrance, came to be regarded as the flower meant for those who have missed their mothers. Missed, either because of death, or, because of staying at a distance. It was the red carnations which in the course of time became the symbol of wishing a living mother, Love. Perhaps, red, the color of blood and heart, was thought to be more suited to represent life and love.

I happen to be a fan of carnations. I like their scent as it is spicy and doesn't get cloying with prolonged exposure to it. Their ruffly petals are fun to observe as well. I also really like the natural variations as opposed to the forced colours they do for special occasions, like St Patrick's Day or the 4th of July. Doing that to flowers just seems silly to me.


Nicola said...

Ah thanks! It's not Mother's Day in Ireland, but I'll accept those kind wishes on behalf of your Mother and her love and skill.

Wouldja believe I have a print of that painting with the red carnations hanging in my hallway? We got it as a wedding present and I love it.

And a Happy Mother's day to you.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Loved your post Leslie. I remember always having the corsage for my mom too. With her gone, I am in the same boat as you; no mom, grandmom, sisters, etc. Frankly, no family close left.
So I adpot you as my sister and send you cyber flowers, that they may rain all about you, and you can enjoy each petal and know they are the many, many thoughts that come from a loving friend.
And honestly, good friends are like family except they have to go home after a few hours visit!!!! LOL!!!!!
Happy Moms Day to ye Pirate Wench!!!

Leslie said...

Hey, Nic. True, Mother's Day is an American invention, but I see nothing wrong in sharing the day with Mothers around the world. So Happy Mother's Day to you, my dear.

Gayle Pritchard said...

Lovely thoughts, Leslie. My mom and grandma are also gone. (I only knew one of my grandmas.) Woman to woman, mom to mom, let me wish YOU a happy mother's day. Be honored for all you do.

Ces said...

I did not know that about carnations but now I like it even more because of its symbolism. We were not flower senders either. We were flower growers. I do buy my own flowers now because I do not want my husband to spend so much money on flower settings. I also have to be careful that I am not overpowered by the fragrance, I have allergies.

Ces said...

Oh how rude of me, of course

HAPPY MOTHER'S Day yo you Leslie!