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.