26 July 2010

Poppies, lavender and the Bible


Poppies and lavender together in a tablecloth, even available in oilcloth! I am dreaming...

I just attended my very first wreath making class at the Blue Willow Lavender Farm (http://www.bluewillowlavenderfarm.com/) and I have lavender on my mind! There is nothing like the scent of this wonderful herb and since I love poppies above all other flower (well maybe with Sunflowers, Lily of the Valley, Peonies,...You know...

I think the combination is perfect for our dining room table! I actually have a smaller tablecloth with poppies as you can see but the oilcloth would be so practical...Yes, I dream again...

As a little girl, I always asked why this, why that... I realized whilst visiting the Blue Willow Farm I know very little of my favourite herb.

With a bit more research I found out it is mentioned in the Bible, not as Lavender but as "Spikenard". In the Gospel of Luke it is written: "Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment."

Another ancient reference to lavender involves how it got its scent. The herb is believed to have been taken from the Garden of Eden by Adam and Eve. However, the powerful perfume came later. According to legend, the clothing of baby Jesus bestowed the scent when Mother Mary laid them upon a bush to dry.

This may explain why the plant is also regarded as a holy safeguard against evil. In many Christian houses, a cross of lavender was hung over the door for protection.

Now I know just a little more about Lavender!

As to the poppy, Homer in the ILIAD mentions the flower: "And as a poppy which in the garden is weighed down by fruit and vernal showers, droops its head on one side ".

In the Bible, the Apostle Peter writes:"All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall. . . ". This fleeting bloom is believed to be the common poppy.

Spring in the Holy Land comes early. By February, the hills above the Jordan Valley are filled with wildflowers. The hills above the Jordan Valley have one of the most diverse floras per unit area on our planet. One of the plants that stands out here is the poppy with its red flowers.

You can see lots of poppies along the road from Jerash to Angana growing amongst the olive trees, the crimson color of the flowers complementing the dark green leaves of the olive. And here I go again, dreaming...Jerusalem, perhaps one day...

In the meantime my family and I will be spending a few days of relaxation reading and dreaming... Until the next time!

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