It was Keats who named the bluebell ‘Sapphire queen of the mid-May’ in his poem ‘Fancy’ 1818. Two hundred years later, as we entered May, the bluebells have certainly been magnificent. I have been watching them gradually unfurl and by the first bank holiday, May Day, they were full of regal splendour. When I see the bluebells en masse in the woods I feel a sense of rejoicing. In his expression of the Language of Flowers, written in 1869, Robert Tyas wrote that the bluebell represented kindness. However, I believe that the bluebell holds far greater significance for many of us. I asked ‘followers’ on Facebook to comment about their beliefs and was very grateful for all their heartfelt replies.
Bluebells and Memories
Whenever I think of bluebells I think of memories and connections to loved ones, especially Grandparents. Many people mentioned their parents and grandparents and connections to special events. One person talked about how their grandmother had bluebells in her wedding bouquet. It was really moving that several people shared that they had scattered their parent’s ashes in a bluebell wood. What an uplifting place to say your final goodbyes and be laid to rest and how reassuring it must be to go and visit that place every year and know that a loved one is at peace amongst the bluebells. I am a firm believer that when we see a flower that had special meaning to a loved one then, for an instant, we are with them again. Memories come flooding back and it is a moment to connect with them. It is an amazing and healing power that flowers have.
In a bluebell wood I often feel entranced. Time stands still. As I look at the blue flowers on the floor of the wood it seems that they are reflecting the hazy blue of the sky above and I am transported to a heavenly world. One Facebook writer commented that the wood is a sanctuary, another described it as a Cathedral. I would agree. The solid trunks of the trees are like columns, the lofty green leaves and branches arching like the high vaulted ceiling and the birdsong like a choral accompaniment. Once again, the sense of peace, of timelessness, within a place of worship pervades. What better setting to be thankful for our blessings than in nature’s Church?
I cannot talk about bluebells without mentioning fairies. Bluebells are so often called fairy flowers. Some people believe that the dainty petals form perfect fairy hats, others that they are fairy thimbles. It has been said that fairies climb inside the bells to shelter from the rain. Other people say that the bluebells are rung to summon fairies to a meeting. I find it very easy to accept that fairies would dance and play in such a beautiful place. All I know is that I always ask the fairies’ permission before I enter a bluebell wood and I certainly whisper a ‘thank you’ as I leave.
The Flower Writer