Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Anemone Flowers

A park near our house was dotted with these lovely red flowers, anemones (sp?). Perfect for Valentine's Day, the name of anemone plant is connected with the ancient myth, telling the famous love story between Adonis and Aphrodite. This specific myth inspired great poets like Ovidius or, much later, Shakespeare, to compose hymns dedicated to love. According to this myth, when Adonis lived with Aphrodite, the two lovers would go hunting in the woods. As Adonis chased game through the forest, the goddess would follow closely behind, in her swan-driven chariot, dressed as a huntress. Aphrodite's ex-lover, the god of war Ares, grew jealous of her affair with the mortal. While his rival was hunting alone, Ares disguised himself as a boar and attacked Adonis causing him lethal injuries. Adonis used his spear to strike back to Ares, but was soon gored to death by the boar's great tusks. Aphrodite hurried to Adonis in her chariot, but his soul had already descended into the Underworld. In despair, she sprinkled nectar on Adonis’ wounds. As Aphrodite took her lover's body out of the woods, crimson anemones sprung up where each drop of blood and nectar fell onto the earth. It is said that that the wind which blows the blossoms open, will soon afterwards blow the petals away; so it is called the Anemone, or Wind Flower, for that which brings forth its life, ends it. (So dramatic!)


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