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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Violet, the colour, for the Imaginary Garden

(With apologies to my Scottish friends and relations. My Scots brogue here is entirely invented.)

Alloway Kirk mosaic
Thistle goblet.

by Scots wha hae
and Scots wha nae,
the violet thistle is worn th’ day
to celebrate, as well they may...
  
for the Norse invaded Scotland braw,
an’ one o’ 'em on a thistle trawd
wi’ his bare fuit and, och, did cry
until yon Scottish warriors, aye,
defeated the Norsemen, forever.

At the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Kim's prompt for the day is the colour VIOLET. As I searched my photo files for something violet-hued, I came upon this photo of Scotch Thistles, known to most North Americans as a noxious weed, but still beloved by those of us with Scottish ancestors. Unless, of course, we step on them with bare feet, as did the fabled Norseman who was thereafter defeated by the Scots, who made the Thistle their national flower.

Photo by Richard Schear, here in southeastern Alberta

According to Kim's research, upon which I followed up, "the colour violet is inspirational of unconditional and selfless love." Such compassion was indeed shown by those Scottish warriors who defeated the invaders so that their wee wifeys and bairns could live without fear.
"Violet likes to be unique, individual and independent," as are the Scots, who have never abandoned their quest for freedom from the English.
"Artists, musicians, writers, poets and psychics are all inspired by violet and its magic and mystery." Of course, to my mind, despite having failed bagpipe lessons, nothing is more magical and mysterious than the skirl o' the pipes.




21 comments:

De said...

Such a great voice to this, Kay. Nice work.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I love it, Kay. You wrote the accent and language to perfection. I love the thistle plant. We had it in Kelowna, and we have it here as well, though not as plentifully.

Hannah said...

I just love how you infuse your posts with a wealth of knowledge in such an entertaining way, too, thank you, Kay!

Kay L. Davies said...

@ Hannah
Thank you. I just love the way you say "ramble on and on" in such a polite and diplomatic way.
K

Mary said...

Often a weed to one person is a flower to another. To me the difference is negligible and beauty is beauty!

Mama Zen said...

Fabulous job with this, Kay! And, I adore Scotch Thistles.

Powell River Books said...

Despite my Norse heritage, I've always loved the look of thistles, especially with the purple tops. But they are definitely prickly when you pass them on the trail. - Margy

sharplittlepencil.com said...

Kay, a history lesson and a wonderful write! No wonder they made it the national flower. I do love thistles, even when I get "nipped" on occasion. I'm a sucker for wild flowers and for the color violet. Nicely done! Amy

Marian said...

surely no one thinks of those violet thistles as noxious weeds! i love them so!
or should i say
i'm a Scot wha hae?

Kim Nelson said...

History... Botany... Poetry... this has it all!

Kerry O'Connor said...

I love your Scottish colloquialisms, Kay. These old legends must have some truth behind them - here's a lesson to watch out for thistles when walking barefoot.

VaNdAnA ShArMa said...

NICE INFORMATIVE PIECE

Grace said...

I love the poem, picture and historical notes on violets ~ Happy Mother's Day Kay ~

Jinksy said...

Loved your purple poem, which proved no prickly problem at all, to either bare feet or readers!

jabblog said...

Rabbie Burns would be proud of ye!

hedgewitch said...

Despite that little contretemps between our ancestors, I've always admired the Scots. Maybe it's the bravery of marching into a battle of claymores and dirks in a skirt, or maybe it's the wild call of the pipes that seems to carry a voice unheard for centuries, but my Viking forebears can only approve of a worthy foe. Loved your very unique take on the color violet, Kay.

Helen said...

... like the violet, this is unique, individual and independent!!!

Judy SheldonWalker said...

So lovely..isn't this milk thistle ? If so it is a miracle treatment for the liver and other health issues.

SquirrelQueen said...

What a perfect choice for the prompt Kay. The sight of Scotch Thistle always stirs my trace of Scottish blood. Even though it may be a weed I love to see it. Thanks for the history lesson.

Susan said...

You speak Scots worthy of Bobbie! I've pictures of the proud weed from groomed gardens in Edinburgh and a thistle pin for my lapel . . .

Ella said...

Kay you are amazing! I love the history and verse ;D
Well Done