February 9 ~  Great Many Things Flower Fairies: Meaning of Flowers

"Meaning makes a great many things endurable, perhaps everything." ~ Carl Gustav Jung

With Valentine's Day less than a week away, here's your chance to not only send your sweetie flowers, but attach a special meaning to the gift.

From the ancient time of King Solomon, the fragrant rose has been the flower of love. The elegant blossom was the signature flower of Aphrodite, the goddess of love.

"A rose is a rose is a rose," wrote poet Gertrude Stein as Egypt's Cleopatra (69-30 B.C.) covered her palace floor with rose petals in anticipation of her lover Mark Antony. Sigmund Freud said that those who dream of red roses have lust on the mind. Bet temptress Cleopatra's petals were deep red.

Poet James Boyle O'Reilly wrote, "And the white rose breathes of love;/O, the red rose is a falcon,/And the white rose is a dove."

Of course, other bouquets have other meaning. For example, give carnations to someone who fascinates you. Gardenias say, "I love you in secret." Because of the shape of its leaves, gladiolus is Latin for sword and means "You pierce my heart." Violets convey the message, "I return your love." And if you need to reconcile with someone, lily-of-the-valley proclaims, "let's make up."

Botanists estimate that there are over 330,000 species of flowers. Whatever you choose, the fragrance of flowers is a beautiful celebration of romance and a perfect token of love. As the Chinese Proverb said, "Flowers leave some of their fragrance in the hand that bestows them."

So, if you're looking for a gift, consider flowers and buy them early so your love's perfume may linger before and after Valentine's Day.

Honor the meaning of things.