31 Days. 31 Flowers. Teaching kids about Wisteria…
Literature, legends and art bloom with FLOWERS, from lovely little nursery rhymes to sophisticated epic poetry and great myths and masterpieces. 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!
WISTERIA, also spelled Wistaria, is named for American anatomist Caspar Wistar (1761 -1818).
Wisteria is a luxuriant climber, known for its playfulness and adventure. And oh, how Wisteria climbs! The vine of the Wisteria engages itself in playful attachment to just about anything it finds… trellises, fences, buildings, columns and poles. The sturdy Wisteria vine travels steadily, wrapping itself both clockwise and counterclockwise, in its quiet search of adventure.
In China, the Wisteria is called the Purple Vine. The purple blooms fall in eloquent clusters, often thought to look in quiet mediation or prayer. The vine and blossoms of the Wisteria are considered gentle reminders for our human need for peace, quiet and divine understanding of nature.
The durability of the Wisteria is also one of its most endearing characteristics. It grows, flourishes and endures in even the harshest conditions or rejection and can live 100 years or more! Because of this, the Wisteria has also come to symbolize longevity and even immortality. European families have told stories of fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers kissing lovers beneath the same Wisteria.
Bring your kids outdoors and find some glorious Wisteria vines and blossoms. If none is in your area, create Wisteria in drawings or paintings; or plant some, winding them both clockwise and counterclockwise around fences, porches, windows, trees. Tell your kids of the playful adventures of the Wisteria, while reminding your kids, too, of the humble peace, meditation and prayer the vines and blossoms embrace.
If you do find a perfect spot to plant your own Wisteria… watch it play, and use it as a lovely tradition for photograph-taking year after year after year. Start you own Wisteria Adventure Tradition.
Read this lovely poem with your children, written by Australian poet Thelma Elizabeth Zaracostas, and feel the beauty and fragrance of the magical Wisteria…
Wisteria Into Spring
Upon opening the curtains
To welcome the day
You were standing there
Your head hung low
Your endless array of purple
Clinging to your slender
You waved as the gentle breeze
Blew your delicate fragrance
I love spring when you are in
My beautiful magical plant
Bring the divine understanding of nature to your children through Wisteria!