Writing my way through the A-to-Z blogging challenge, I’m sharing my thoughts and reflections on a lexicon (vocabulary specific to a certain subject) of unusual, obscure, or simply charming-to-me words. Ludic is defined as “playful, in an aimless way” and that’s my plan for approaching this challenge – keeping my feet on the joy trail and meandering wherever the daily word takes me.
K is for…
kiss-me-quick-by-the-garden-gate – another name for the flower pansy.
Ok, so technically more phrase than word, but I’m guessing you probably haven’t heard it in this context AND it delights me, so it’s all good.
Pansies are a favorite of mine. Just as they were for my grandmother. They might have been for Shakespeare as well, as he mentions them in two of his plays. In Midsummer Night’s Dream he has Oberon, the king of faeries, using it as a love charm, and also relating how the pansy, previously white, received its color when shot by Cupid’s arrow.
Then in Hamlet, Ophelia speaks in the language of flowers…
“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember. And there is pansies, that’s for thoughts.”
The name ‘pansy’ is derived from the French word pensée which means thought. It’s said it was so named because the blossom resembles a human face, and when it nods forward it appears as if lost deep in thought. I always smile when I think of that. Pansies are known by an unusually large number of nicknames, but I particularly like the one that’s today’s subject. No doubt the nodding forward posture I just mentioned is equally applicable to delivering a kiss as to being lost in thought.
While pansies have long been cultivated, they remain closely related to the wild pansy, which is also known as Heartsease. And as you might guess, they have many heart associations. It was used for love potions and Victorians believed if they carried a pansy it would ensure their beloved’s affection. But just as it was meant to keep one’s love foremost in one’s thoughts, it was also considered to help ease a broken heart.
Anne Choi is one of my favorite bead artists using the lost wax cast process and working mostly in sterling. I’ve been a fan and collector for years and feel a great connection with each of the treasured pieces I own. When my mother died, I bought this pansy bead that says “PENSE A MOI” on the sides – “think of me.” I made a bracelet with it and wore it continually throughout the period that marked my formal mourning and honoring observations. When the bracelet broke, I knew that period was over, and now I keep the bead on one of my altars. There’s such a sweetness in remembering, and I love that pansy is associated with that. This is how I experience the Heartease energy.
I also have a vintage necklace that delights me and contains an embedded pansy and part of a leaf. There’s a sweet delicate energy to this piece as well. It seems to remind me that all life can be approached with tenderness and on that footing great beauty is available.
Ever had a quick kiss by the garden gate? Do you have any flower jewelry? Or perhaps a sweet flower story to share? A pansy for your thoughts – you know I’d love to hear.