The snowdrops are out!
Right on schedule, the little white and green blossoms have popped up in my neighbour’s yard to cheer our grey Wet Coast winter. They bring a smile to my heart because they’re so pretty and low-key – they don’t demand attention like the brighter, splashier blooms later on, but their very quietness gives them a dignity I love.
Also, they’re just so pretty.
But according to the Oxford Dictionary of Plant-Lore, cutting the flowers and bringing them into the house will bring bad luck.
“When a former husband brought me some indoors,” writes one source as recently as 1993, “we split up within days and were divorced…”
Maybe the fact that she wrote a former husband (implying there is more than one) should be a clue that it might not be the flowers that are at fault. Perhaps she should examine her own perseverance, or her taste in men.
Or maybe, as the fruitarians would have it (see Down on the Farm, Aug 29, 2010) the plants are meant to live out their natural span and we should only harvest them when they tell us they are good and ready. Although I would miss the point of flower bouquets if I had to wait until they’ve gone to seed and fallen over.
I must admit that I feel lucky that my neighbour leaves hers outside – where I can enjoy them!