Posts Tagged ‘manners’


May is the month when wild violets grow in the woods in Nova Scotia.  Delicate and fragile, they grow so close to the ground that they are easy to miss.  Yet, such down-to-earth flowers are worth a closer look.

Not many plants can reproduce without any assistance whatsoever from insects, the wind or other plants of the same species.  Violets are among the few that can self-pollinate without ever opening their petals.  This means that they can keep reproducing, even if very few of them are present in an area. 

It’s no surprise then that the number of wild violets in my yard has been steadily increasing since I first transplanted a clump from the woods years ago.  Yesterday I picked several blooms for drying purposes.  It’s been such a long time since I’ve had any violet tea and I thought I would try to make some myself. 

In the past, I’ve also candied violets with friends.  Despite the presence of black flies and mosquitos, we set out into the woods together and gathered as many violets as we could find during a sunny morning’s walk.  We spread the violets on a wax paper sheet, brushed them with whipped egg white, drizzled them with fine sugar and then let them dry under a watchful eye at the lowest heat in the oven for a few minutes.  They were so lovely and special.

wild violets

Violet Teas in springtime were a popular activity among close friends during Edwardian times.  Despite all our recent gains in positioning, it seems we women have lost some of our finer manners and gentler practices along the way.   We’ve compromised by drinking coffee and tea out of paper cups with plastic lids on a daily basis, often while juggling a cell phone from behind a wheel.  Something’s amiss.   

In the language of flowers, violets are symbols of modesty, humility and faithfulness.   These are certainly qualities worth emulating, especially in the 21st century.

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds
on the heel that has crushed it.
— Mark Twain

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