I come in the little things, Saith the Lord: Yea, on the glancing wing of eager birds, the softly pattering feet of furred and gentle beasts. I come in the little things, Saith the Lord: Not borne on the morning's wings of majesty, but I have set My feet amidst the delicate and bladed wheat. I come in the little things, Saith the Lord.
-Evelyn Underhill

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Tiger Lilies

Language of Flowers:  Tiger Lily
Wealth & Pride





I associate the Tiger Lily with my grandmother's front walk.  Her house was built by my grandfather in 1919 out of southern pine.  It sat up on brick pillars, was never painted, and had a tin roof.  The house, with it's wide porch stretching across the front, was just one story with a center hall ending in the dining room next to the kitchen.  The floors had linoleum "rugs", and there was no central heating--nor an indoor bathroom or hot running water for the first 40 years.  Her house was certainly not a symbol of wealth or pride!  But she had those glorious flowers lining the grassy walk up to her humble home.

It is said that Emily Dickinson identified with the Tiger Lily because of her auburn hair.

A Dying Tiger—moaned for Drink—
I hunted all the Sand—
~Emily Dickinson

9 comments:

  1. Bet there were a lot of happy memories made in that not-wealthy-or-proud home, however. Cathy, your post today reminds me of a line I first saw, I think, on Susan Branch's blog - "It's not what's on the plates that counts - it's what's on the chairs..." Not sure if that was Susan's line, someone else's or that wisest of sages, Anonymous. But I love it. Hope you're able to stay cool down there in Maryland - you're close to Washington and I have a friend who's worked there for 30 years - and who is ALWAYS talking about how gruesome the Summers are. Heat and humidity. Can't blame her - I'd hate that too. So stay low and keep cool... :>) PS - do Gabriel and Poetry duck down to the basement on hot days? That's what our dogs did.

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    1. I love that quote, Janet. Something all hosts should remember. Yes, it's been very hot here, but we did have some pleasant weather last week for a few days. I love this quote about the weather: "There is no such thing as bad weather--Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, and snow is exhilarating." John Ruskin. As long as I don't have to be out in it when it's unpleasant, I'm happy. :-) Gabriel probably would go to the basement, only he can't negotiate the stairs--too steep and narrow for his short legs. But he will also ring the bell to go outside so he can lay in the sun when it's 90 degrees! I make him come in after a few minutes so he doesn't get heat stroke. I think I keep the house cool enough for Poetry on really hot days--we keep the thermostat at 78 when it's humid and 80 when it's not. I leave the doors and windows open as long as I can until I can't stand the humidity any longer.

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    2. P.S. Janet. I found Susan's quote in her Interview under "I Love England" !

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  2. Such a vibrant, beautiful flower, and your memories are so pleasant and obviously dear to you.

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    1. It's interesting to me that I have memories of flowers when I was a child--Mamaw's Tiger Lilies and Lantana, and the gardenias and banana tree outside my window--yet I didn't realize I loved gardening so much until I was in my 40's.

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  3. Lovely memory, Cathy. My maternal grandparents were tenant farmers and never had a home of their own, to my knowledge; but I do remember hydrangeas in the yard of one house they lived in. Interesting comment you shared about Gabriel being unable to negotiate stairs because of his short legs, as I always assumed my friends' dogs were simply afraid.

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    1. I read that dogs don't have the same depth perception that we do so they probably are afraid to attempt a long set of stairs. When Gabriel was a puppy I put bricks on the deck stairs in a zig-zag fashion and showed him how to go down that way (not straight down). After he did it once he was fine and when he got a little bigger he could do the steps straight down because there are only four. To come back up he has to either get a running start or "wind up" and spring up the steps! The basement stairs are narrower and looonnnggg.

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  4. My tiger lilies had so many aphids on them this year, Cathy. I used to have lovely ones--oh well, such is the life of the gardener. I love hearing stories about your Mamaw. The gift that grandparents give to grandchildren is lifelong! A day doesn't go by without thinking of my dear Nanny. She would always sweep the patio when she visited and now when I sweep I think of her and her wise thoughts. One about sweeping was--"I'm too busy sweeping the dirt off my own porch to be worrying about my neighbors dirt." I used to laugh about that quote, but now understand I don't need to be worrying about others and take joy in today! ♥

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    1. I have aphids in my garden too, but they haven't bothered the tiger lily blossoms. My Mamaw never came to visit me--we were a 2-day drive and she was pretty much tied to her home. I think the last time she went anywhere was my wedding in 1969. My Dad convinced her to fly from Mississippi to Michigan for Christmas and stay till February 15th, then drove her home afterwards. She lived to 103 and passed on in 2000. My mother's mother came once for Christmas with my mother, so that is a nice memory (and documented in my photo album).

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