This is a moment from my heart to your heart -Leeks and St David's day
The saint was said to live on bread, water, leeks and watercress. He founded many monasteries. His followers kept strict rules, worked hard at farming and provided food and clothing for the poor. St. David lived to an old age. His last sermon contains this piece of advice, a favorite among the Welsh people: "Be joyful and keep your faith and creed. Do the little things that you have seen me do and heard about.'
Don't you just love it when the synchronicity of symbolism combines to create a message which guides you to the next stage.
I'd had in mind to write about St David's Day, being the National Day for Wales on this day the 1st March. I'd let slip from my conscious mind the story of leeks and the Welsh, remembering only the daffodils. The leek became an icon when it was used in a battle between the English and the Welsh to distinguish one side from the other. Daffodils being more plentiful and readily available at the beginning of Spring, than leeks, were used instead of the leek, as the years went by. Traditional costume in the 'old days' were for women to wear a gingham or chequered skirt while the gentlemen wore clothing similar to the English. Both sexes wore the tall black hat. Tartans for the clans is relatively new to Wales. Relatively new meaning only a few centuries and not of long ago. The welsh tartan for my family is more like the one being worn by the little Welsh Corgi.
I laughed to myself when I realised that it was really Leeks I was including in the post - in line with the posts of the last week or two when I've being sharing with you common herbs and vegetables which also have a medicinal and spiritual component.
Daffodils and Leeks have much more in common than the green of their leaves and their bulbous roots. They both offer us protection and recognition. In primary school we learnt to recite William Wordsworth's "Daffodils" (words below) and even as an 8 or 9 year old I could see and feel the dance of the daffodils as I hovered above them, watching and waiting for the coming season. The excitement of the next step, the adventure coming towards me - all shows through Wandsworth's words. Daffodils herald spring and the coming of new beginnings. Leeks are not as pretty to look at and yet to eat their flavour is almost bland. We tend in cooking to add other goodies to the recipe and forget the sunshine in their leaves bringing us a wealth of knowledge and protection from infections. "I wandered lonely as a cloud..." is one of the most lyrical and musical expressions created for visualisation of meaning.....Clouds to me give the feeling of serenity as we watch them meander across a blue sky - Loneliness does not seem to associate itself with clouds and yet at times we have all experienced loneliness. In the midst of a huge crowd or family gathering, loneliness can be pushing at our heart strings. What protects us further is the knowledge of something new arriving unexpectedly at the door. Like adding a leek to our cap we use our own methods to recognise soul mates and friends who allow us the space to assuage loneliness with a knowledge of self love and self worth. We are worthy says Daffodil - we protect you says Leek"Be joyful and keep your faith and creed. Do the little things that you have seen me do and heard about.'(Dewi Sant)Gaele Arnott on the March 1st, 2006 here in Brisbane Australiatoday's midi is: Romance in F op51 (Tchaicovsky)should you wish to be included on the moment list please email me at: gaele.arnott@...Today's graphic was created with Corel's Paint Shop Pro IX by Gaelebackground photo is of medieval stepping stones, Wales taken by Rhys Howell on website www.daffodiltours.co.uk/LEEKS: Scientific name: Allium Porrum Leek belongs to the Liliacceae or lily family. Its natural habitat is Asia but now grows where the temperature does not exceed 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The leek is the mildest of the onion genus and grows well when the soil is moist and there are no competition from weeds.Medicinal uses: Leek is said to be a diuretic and a blood building agent. Wild leeks have medicinal properties similar to wild onion. Drink a bulb infusion to treat colds, and high blood pressure.the puppy in the graphic is a Welsh Corgi wearing the McLellan Clan tartanBoth St David's parents were descended from Welsh royalty. His father, Sant (or Sandde) was a Prince of Powys, whose own father Ceredig was Prince of Ceredigion. His mother was Non, the daughter of the local chieftain of Menevia (now St. David's). It was believed in medieval times that Non was a niece of King Arthur. In legend, St Patrick - also Welsh born - has a premonition of David's birth in approximately 530A.D. St. David's 12th Century biographer, Rhygyfarch, states his place of birth was upon a cliff overlooking today's St Non's Bay, south west Wales; in the 18th Century the picturesque chapel of St Non's (Capel Non) was built at this location to mark the place of David's birth as closely as possible. St. David was educated at the monastery of Hen Fynyw; his teacher Paulinus was blind. According to legend, young David cured his teacher's blindness in one of many stories of miracles attributed to Wales' Patron. Another story suggests that he revived a young man from death.
Why leeks? Phoenicians are said to have introduced the leek to Wales when they were trading for tin in the British Isles---a casual act that would unexpectedly elevate this humble plant to national status a thousand years later. Legend has it that some 60 years after St. David's death, in 640 AD, the Briton King Cadwallader was sorely pressed by invading Saxons. To distinguish themselves from the enemy, the Welsh wore leeks in their hats---and subsequently gained a great victory over their enemies."Daffodils" (1804)
I WANDER'D lonely as a cloud
- That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
- A host, of golden daffodils;
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
- And twinkle on the Milky Way,
- Along the margin of a bay:
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
- Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
- In such a jocund company:
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
- In vacant or in pensive mood,
- Which is the bliss of solitude;
And dances with the daffodils.
I ask that you join me each day at the dinner hour (evening meal) in lighting a candle together, so that we as One People may dream together for Peace On Earth.Together we can create a reality free of greed and manipulation,where all people in all lands may have the freedom to move freely without fear.* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Evolution is a leap in consciousnessThe Circle of Life is charged with coincidences of the moment. To follow your heart in recognizing the power of chance, invites the energy of the subconscious mind to create a new reality.
- By William Wordsworth (1770-1850).
"Simply the Present Moment" (c) Gaele Arnott
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