“The bud stands for all things, even for those things that don’t flower, for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing; though sometimes it is necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness, to put a hand on the brow of the flower, and retell it in words and in touch, it is lovely until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing.” ~GalwayKinnell
Camellias are adored by gardeners for their symmetrical flowers and clear colors. These exotic beauties are a marvel of the landscape as their lovely blooms and burnished foliage thrive in the dead of winter. Beauty in the stark winter landscape before spring casts her magic. Once gracing the estates and conservatories of the wealthiest Americans, their surprising ease to propagate have them now flourishing in gardens countrywide.
In the Victorian language of flowers (floriography), a white camellia signifies perfected loveliness and adoration. A corsage fashioned with this special flower was a gift from my father to my mother on their first date. Returning from war broken and to a first marriage destroyed by disloyalty, my mom was like the camellia in the winter of his life. Soon they married and settled into a quaint home. They longed to have a family but children were not in the offing. They decided to adopt.
Word came that not one, but two babies were available for them: TWINS!
It was a sign…mom was a twin whose sister was lost at birth and dad had twin sisters. At the time of our adoption, my sister and I were fortunate to not have been separated and raised apart, which was the common practice at the time. That there were two hearts as wide as the world open and ready to adopt twins was Divine. Upon our arrival a camellia bush was planted in the yard and then transplanted at a newer, larger home as the family grew and added a brother. We flourished and so did the camellia bush. It was a special reminder of the perfected loveliness and adoration that was my father’s love for my mother and for his two lovelies.
Today, in honor of our 47th year, I’m sending a virtual camellia flower to my other lovely half…Happy Birthday Sis!