I was going through some beautiful old books this morning and came across a piece on traditions.
Apparently on the 1st of May in France it is customary to present a loved one with Lily of the Valley.
This got me thinking about how important old traditions are to me and my family and how I hope my own parents’ quirky ways and traditions are never forgotten,
like always setting the table for 14, even is there’s only 13 dining or having afternoon tea at 5 with the lights off on the first Sunday in February.
I never met my grandmother on my Fathers side but I am told she was quite a character! Her favourite flower was Lily of the Valley, she adored the scent and whenever she could, had it in her home and wore perfumes which contained it. In fact, her name was Sarah Lily, and her eldest daughter was Pearl Lily. Both her and my Auntie Pearl adored this tiny flower.
Whenever my Father smells Lily of the Valley he is reminded of them, their ‘straight up the line’ approach to life (which I must say is a Harper trait through and through!) and what strong characters they were.
It makes me appreciate my Father in a whole new light when he reminisces on family. He is a very straight business man. No time for messing about – an endless To-Do list, places to go and people to see. You know the sort, but whenever he smells Lily of the Valley, his thoughts are with his Mum and his Sister.
In fact, when I read this today, I called him to have a chat and ask him about his Mum and his big Sister. We often chat about his family – Pearl was a great entertainer with what I remember as a HUGE L-shaped sofa in the lounge – right next to the mirrored mini bar with a full set of optics behind it! She always threw awesome parties and I have some fab memories of parties at her house.
He went on to tell me that he has a bed of Lily of the Valley planted by the back gate at home and he gets to walk past it every day on his way in and out of the house.
In fact, he said he’ll be picking a few stems for my Mum on his way back in tonight . . .
I love sentiment and how we are reminded of special things which evoke feelings of family and heritage. All from one tiny flower.