Columbines


“I am that flower, — That mint, — That columbine.”

William Shakespeare — Loves Labour Lost Act V, Scene 2

The ‘columbine’ holds significance- in pantomime, a ‘columbine’ refers to the sweetheart of Harlequin. The term ‘columbine’ is derived from its Latin source – ‘columba’ which means ‘ a dove’. In fact, closely related to the religious connotation of the flower ‘columbine’, the term ‘columbarium’ (derived from it) signifies a ‘dovecot’ or a ‘niche for a sepulchral urn’.

Columbine is the symbol of foolishness, based on the flower’s resemblance to a jester’s cap and bells. It was considered bad luck to give this flower to a woman. Fallen spurs of the columbine looked like the Virgin Mary’s Shoes and received that name. They were said to have sprung up where Mary’s feet touched the earth when she was on her way to visit Elizabeth. The spurred flowers resembled the tiny doves and came to represent the Holy Spirit. The flower also symbolized the innocence of Mary. The petals of the Columbine symbolize the gifts of the Spirit.

Skirting the rocks at the forest edge
With a running flame from ledge to ledge,
Or swaying deeper in shadowy glooms,
A smoldering fire in her dusky blooms;
Bronzed and molded by wind and sun,
Maddening, gladdening every one
With a gypsy beauty full and fine,—
A health to the crimson columbine!

Elaine Goodale, Columbine.

Nothing Ordinary About It


After the Advent banners came down many people in the congregation complained how plain the sanctuary looked.  The women asked for another project to provide focus for visual meditation.  The decision was to do something for Ordinary Time which is represented by the colour green.  They will be dedicated to God’s glory this Sunday in memory of Bill M.  His widow is known for her preference for green so these were the obvious choice.  All the blocks have biblical references.  The women did a fabulous job.

Another UFO – FP, finally!


Finally!  Hubby’s quilt is finished.  I started it well over a year ago.  It’s been waiting until I could find someone to long arm quilt it for me.  It is slightly bigger than queen size (hubby is a BIG guy) and much too heavy and awkward to quilt on my sewing machine.  I was referred to Joanne at A Quilting Studio who was able to book it in within 6 weeks.  Hurray!  Every one else had no openings until October at the earliest, one place not until next year!

Hubby is really excited that it is finally finished, he painted the walls of his room to match!

The design is called Squares on Squares and the quilting pattern is called Square Dance.  I am pleased with the finished result, it is almost true to the squares.  Not too bad for my second full-sized quilt, my tenth, not counting stoles.

How are things growing?


The garden is very white, entirely unintended.  The columbine has come beautifully this year.  The last two it struggled as a result of getting wind born spray meant to control the dandelions in the lawn.  They don’t bother me, but hubby insisted.

There are a few Lily of the Valley left after the front was replanted.  The Anenomes are huge this year, possibly due to the winter kill thinning them down to much smaller clumps.  I love the hint of mauve toward the centres.

The Icelandic Poppies are blooming profusely, almost all of them are white.  Once the blue and purple Delphinium start blooming they will compliment perfectly.

I am so pleased with the little Violas I picked up at the greenhouse this year.  They are vibrant little bunches that bloom, and bloom and bloom, not getting leggy at all.  They are so sweet, a long time favourite.  It brings to mind my grandmother’s garden and the long beds of pansies along the walk to the front door.  Every time I visited while they were in bloom I would beg permission to pick a bouquet.  Some times, not too often, she would say yes.

The flower beds are not entirely white, there are patches of colour here and there.  Only one of four bleeding hearts survived.  I think the application of herbicide mentioned earlier contributed greatly to the demise of the one in the front garden.  The survivor at the back fence is flourishing.  I am a bit concerned about it however, as an equally large Delphinium is crowding it out.  We’ll have to see how they get along this summer.

As I have stated on numerous occasions, purple is my favourite colour.  I am thrilled with the very dark purple, almost black columbines that I planted last year and returned healthy and robust this year.  Late tulips in the front garden are almost the same colour.  Things definitely are growing well!

And…the chives are blooming!


Me too.

Hopping Hadrian's Wall

I don’t have a reason for posting this picture.  I just found online somewhere in recent months and I like it.  It speaks to me of the presence of the divine (Matthew Fox might say “Cosmic Christ”) in all corners of the universe, even in the deepest parts of the Earth.  I see it as a blessing.  May it be so.

As the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins once said, “Christ plays in ten thousand places”.

Aw, what the heck, I’ll just go ahead and post the whole poem:

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying Whát…

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