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Re: It's May, it's May, the merry month of May

"The month of May, with its profusion of blooms was adopted by the Church in the eighteenth century as a celebration of the flowering of Mary's maidenly spirituality…With its origins in Isaiah's prophecy of the Virgin birth of the Messiah under the figure of the Blossoming Rod or Root of Jesse, the flower symbolism of Mary was extended by the Church Fathers, and in the liturgy, by applying to her the flower figures of the Sapiential Books-Canticles, Wisdom, Proverbs and Sirach.

"In the medieval period, the rose was adopted as the flower symbol of the Virgin Birth, as expressed in Dante's phrase, 'The Rose wherein the Divine Word was made flesh,' and depicted in the central rose windows of the great gothic cathedrals-from which came the Christmas carol, 'Lo, How a Rose 'ere Blooming.' Also, in the medieval period, when monasteries were the centers of horticultural and agricultural knowledge, and with the spread of the Fransiscan love of nature, the actual flowers themselves, of the fields, waysides and gardens, came to be seen as symbols of Mary…" – John S. Stokes

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Re: It's May, it's May, the merry month of May

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Re: It's May, it's May, the merry month of May

[ Edited ]

I love lily of the valley flowers.  I just posted a good morning with a bunch on ShowMe's thread.

 

Nice thread.  Thanks, @cherry 

""Out beyond the ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field. I will meet you there." -Rumi
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Re: It's May, it's May, the merry month of May

When I was in elementary school people made a big deal out of dancing around the May pole.  In fact we used to do that outside.   Of course, as kids we loved going outside instead of being in class so May 1st was always a good day.  

 

 

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Re: It's May, it's May, the merry month of May

We had a Maypole dance too @Pearley ..Great fun

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSsAvbW-uYU

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Re: It's May, it's May, the merry month of May

Time is going by quickly. We're already in the 5th month of the year.

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Re: It's May, it's May, the merry month of May

[ Edited ]

I love the month of May, not just because it is my birthday month, but because it always seems to be a happy month.  So Happy Birthday to all of you May Birthday Babies.  Heart Woman LOL

The moving finger writes; And having writ, Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line Nor all your Tears Wash out a Word of it. Omar Khayam
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Re: It's May, it's May, the merry month of May

What comes to mind when one first thinks about “the Lily of the Valley” is a delicate flower that is symbolic of Easter and Weddings. It grows 15 to 30 cm tall, with only one or two leafs, and flowering stems, which have two leaves and 5 to 15 bell-shaped white flowers. The Lily of the Valley grows in the spring of the year and comes in three varieties from China and Japan, Eurasia, and the USA. Sadly, it is a poisonous woodland flowering plant that grows predominately in cooler temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere of Asia and Europe.

The Lily of the Valley is also known as Our Lady’s Tears or Mary’s Tears from Christian legends, which came about from Mary’s weeping when Jesus was being crucified. Another legend of the flower comes from the tears that Eve shed when she was expelled from the Garden of Eden with Adam. Lastly, the last legend was that of Saint Leonard of Noblac during his battles with a dragon.

It should be of no surprise that “the Lily of the Valley” is referred to in the Bible because it is very much a part of Christ and is reflected upon as a rose. As a symbol of humility “the Lily of the Valley” is a sign of Christ’s second coming, along with being a power for men to envision a better world. Although, “the Lily of the Valley” and “the Easter Lily” are often confused, they are both white and stand for humility and purity within the Christian religion. The Lily of the Valley is mentioned in the Bible 15 times and 8 of those times are in the book of the Song of Solomon in the Old Testament.

Lily of the Valley

Photo via 99roots.com

 

According to the Bible, the Lily grows in valleys, fields, gardens, and even among thorns. It is a sweet, fragrant flower that relates to the sweetness of Jesus’ ministry especially when He gave Himself for our transgressions. The Lily is also connected to motherhood, poetry, historical traditions and mythology. Then when one thinks about the white petals of the flower, they are reminded of Mary’s virgin body and her glowing soul.

In German mythology the flower is linked to the virgin goddess of spring Ostara and symbolizes life to Pagans. Additionally, the blooming of the lily refers to the feast of Ostara. Once again, the sweet smell and whiteness of the flower remind one of humility and purity of its patron goddess.

The Lily of the Valley is also known as May Lily, May Bells, Lily Constancy, Ladder-to-Heaven, Male Lily, and Muguet. Its scientific name Majalis or Maialis means “belonging to May” and is under the dominion of Mercury astrologically. Lastly, the Lily of the Valley signifies the return of happiness and perhaps this is something that should be considered a lot more in today’s society as it is more and more difficult to find peace.

Source: sciences360.com

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Re: It's May, it's May, the merry month of May

Native to most European countries, lily of the valley is a favorite of people everywhere. It is cherished and revered in many countries for its symbolism and folklore.
A medieval Christian legend of the origin of lily of the valley told of Saint Leonard, a close friend of King Clovis of France {of the iris legend}. Though a brave and fearless fighter, Saint Leonard was something of a recluse and found life at court unappealing. In A.D. 559 he asked permission to go live in the woods so he could spend his days among the trees and flowers communing with God. The dragon Temptation, who also lived in those woods, was furious that Saint Leonard had invaded his privacy. He appeared to Saint Leonard one day, in the form of a dragon, demanding that he leave the woods. Leonard was at prayer and did not hear him, so this devil dragon went to Saint Leonard's hut and burned it down with his fiery breath. When Saint Leonard returned, he fought the dragon. It was a fierce battle, and much blood was spilled. Wherever the dragon lost a drop of blood, a poisonous weed began to grow. Wherever Saint Leonard's blood fell, a lily of the valley appeared. After three days Saint Leonard was finally able to slay the dragon.
Much symbolism involves lily of the valley. It is considered the sign of Christ's second coming, and is often called ladder to heaven or Jacob's tears. The plant is also mentioned in the Song of Solomon in the Bible. Mary's tears is yet another name for lily of the valley; legend says that when Mary cried at the cross, her tears turned into this flower. It is considered a symbol of purity and humility, sweetness, and renewed happiness. In some areas, lily of the valley was thought to have the power to help men envision a better world.
Lily of the valley was used extensively for medicine. Several elaborate recipes exist for creating concoctions from the plant. One of these was written by John Gerard,, a sixteenth-century English botanist. He said that if you put blossoms from lily of the valley into a glass, set the glass in an anthill, and cover it up for a month, the liquid found in the glass after this time would be invaluable for treating the "paine and griefe of the gout." A similar recipe is in the first chapter of Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped. A recipe that is a bit easier to carry out calls for soaking one-half pound of the flowers in a liter of wine for four weeks. This creates a liquor that was considered more precious than gold. Smeared on the forehead and the back of the neck, it was thought to make one have good common sense.
Another early botanist suggested that the flowers, distilled in wine, would restore speech "unto those that have the dum palsie." The flowers, dipped in the wine and eaten, were thought to relieve migraine headaches. Lily of the valley was also used to treat eye inflammations, to strengthen memory, and as a love potion. The medicinal power of the plant was thought to be so strong that infusions made from it were kept in gold and silver vessels.
Despite its reputed powers, all parts of the plant are considered somewhat poisonous. It, like the foxglove, contains substances that are used to strengthen the heart. It should never be used without first consulting a doctor. It is sometimes used to treat patients recovering from a stroke, and it seems to be particularly effective at helping restore speech.
Occasionally called glovewort, lily of the valley was used to treat sore or chapped hands.
The genus name is from the Latin word for valley and perhaps refers to the original home of the plant, though it can be found growing naturally in many different habitats.
Lily of the valley, cultivated for over 400 years, seems to be loved everywhere. Sprigs of the blossoms are worn in the lapel on May Day in France, and it is the national flower of Finland. In Germany and Scandinavian countries, it was thought to be good luck to go to the woods and pick "Virgin's tears" in the spring.
Often carried in bridal bouquets, lily of the valley is sometimes considered the "fifth thing" that a bride should carry {right after something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue}. The Dutch carry this a bit further and often plant the pips of lily of the valley in the first garden the couple owns. Each time the plants bloom. year after year, the couple is supposed to celebrate the renewal of their love.

 

 

 

Lily of the valley leaves make a good dye, changing cloth to either yellow or green, depending on what season of the year the leaves are gathered.

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Re: It's May, it's May, the merry month of May

 

Gentle fairies, hush your singing:
Can you hear my white bells ringing,
Ringing as from far away?
Who can tell me what they say?

Little snowy bells out-springing
From the stem and softly ringing—
Tell they of a country where
Everything is good and fair?

Lovely, lovely things for L!
Lilac, Lavender as well;
And, more sweet than rhyming tells,
Lily-of-the-Valley’s bells.