Spring brings the sights and scent of violets

March 16, 2013 

With the vernal equinox come violets, their royal banners of purple flying, celebrating the demise of another long and cruel winter.

An equinox marks the turning point, when the sun has positioned itself to rise due east and set due west, when all the earth comes into balance and when Nature sounds reveille. Although we might not sense such a version in our ears, plant life hears the vernal equinox as a bugle call.

Spring is more than the equinox and daylight saving time; it’s violets beside the kitchen door, a little girl clutching a handful of these daintily perfumed flowers of spring beauty to proudly present to her mother. Violets represent the awakening of a fresh new season laden with beauty in every form.

Over the span of centuries that man has beheld the language of flowers, the violet is the emblem of innocence. Its color indicates the love of truth and the truth of love.

Violets, long gathered by early cultures in which medicine was more an art than science, come in many varieties: garden, hearts ease and pansies, the most common. They provided a decoction and syrup considered effective in rural societies for treating lung, chest and throat conditions. Roman emperor Pliny recommended garlands of violets as a hangover cure.

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