Today I’m taking part in the My Most Beautiful Thing Blogsplash inspired by Fiona Robyn’s book ‘The Most Beautiful Thing’. Bloggers from all over the world are taking part and writing or posting pictures of their most beautiful things today.
It’s been really difficult deciding what to write about when there are so many beautiful things. How can you possibly pick one? Rain/sunshine; cosy winter nights/long summer days; people I love/places I love; music/silence; conversation/solitude; the sea/the town … so much! But to choose one?
So, I’m going to write about something that is a symbol as well as a thing, something that has an interesting history as well as existing very much in the present, something that for me is beautiful, heartwarming, graceful, colourful, one of nature’s many beautiful things …
My Most Beautiful Thing
I love tulips for lots of different reasons. They come after the snowdrops and daffodils, overlapping with bluebells, chiming with the longer days. With their vivid colours, they eschew the delicacy of the snowdrop, the sameness of the daffodil – they are bold, jaunty, intense. Their arrival announces – spring is here.
I love them for their elegance in a vase. You don’t have to arrange them Pander to them. They drape themselves with languid ease, their stalks posing with the fluidity of dancers’ limbs. They are relaxed – they know they are beautiful and adored.
Most of us associate tulips with Holland, but they were first cultivated during the Ottoman Empire. Apparently, the tulip is indigenous to a vast area encompassing arid parts of Africa, Asia and Europe. The word tulip, which earlier appeared in English in forms such as tulipa or tulipant, entered the language by way of French tulipe and its obsolete form tulipan or by way of Modern Latin tulīpa, from Ottoman Turkish.
During the time of the Ottoman Empire, they symbolised abundance and indulgence. When tulip mania gripped the Dutch in the 17th century, fortunes were made and lost with them. The Semper Augustus – a tulip of extraordinary beauty with blood-red flares streaking the white petals - sold for 10000 guilders. They came to symbolise human greed, and the crash that brought tulip mania to an end has been compared with the financial crashes of more modern times.
But I love tulips. They make life more fun, more energetic – more beautiful.
When I was looking for curtains recently (and becoming frustrated with fabrics and patterns which left me cold), I knew I’d found the answer when I discovered a tulip pattern!
I hope I’ve convinced you about ‘My Most Beautiful Thing’.