31 Days. 31 Flowers.
Literature blooms with FLOWERS, from lovely little nursery rhymes to sophisticated epic poetry. Knowing the names of flowers, the references to flowers, the symbols of flowers, the language of flowers gives kids a blooming head start in understanding literature and enhancing literacy.
Each day in May, a FLOWER will be presented here at 31 Days. 31 Flowers – 31 Ways to engage your kids in literature, literacy and life in just a few moments a day. Enjoy!
May Flowers: The Hyacinth
The HYACINTH is a bulbous Mediterranean plant characterized by narrow leaves and a funnel-shaped perianth, which is the outer envelope of the flower. The fragrant flower stalk of the Hyacinth may be white, pink, *violet or blue.
The Hyacinth got its name in a most interesting way… from Greek mythology. Here is the story – Hyacinthus was a beautiful boy from Sparta and a great friend of Apollo, the sun god. Apollo often descended to earth in his golden chariot to play with Hyacinthus, but Zephyrus, the god of the wind, was very jealous of the wonderful friendship between Hyacinthus and Apollo. One day, while Hyacinthus and Apollo were competing in the discus throw, Zephyrus blew a strong West Wind that caused the discus to strike Hyacinthus in the head… a fatal wound. The heartbroken Apollo created the Hyacinth from the blood of Hyacinthus, ensuring that the memory of Hyacinthus would live forever through the lovely Hyacinth.
The Hyacinth has come to symbolize play, games and sports. Let your kids in on the wonderful secret of the Hyacinth and the honor it holds for mythical Apollo and Hyacinthus. Why not plant some Hyacinths in your yard or in pots to always remind you and your kids to PLAY, have fun, delight in being outside with friends, playmates, companions.
These two little verses express the deep spiritual value of the Hyacinth…
“If, of thy mortal goods, thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store two loaves
alone to thee are left,
Sell one & from the dole,
Buy Hyacinths to feed the soul”
– Muslihuddin Sadi,
13th Century Persian Poet
“If I had but two loaves of bread
I would sell one of them
& buy White Hyacinths to feed my soul.”
– Elbert Hubbard
There’s also a little secret about the *purple/violet Hyacinth. If you are apologizing to someone, or trying to make amends for a little misunderstanding, give a purple Hyacinth as a gift. The purple Hyacinth symbolizes feeling sorry for something.
Have fun with the Hyacinth today. PLAY. Feed your SOUL. Let the learning bloom!