Friday, February 13, 2009
9 x 12 inch, Watercolor, St Germain. My own rendition of the Camellias.
Camellia means "flame of the heart, longing, adoration." The meaning is so fitting, with Valentine's Day when many flowers are given to friends and loved ones.
The previous owner of our house had planted a Camellia tree in the front yard. Since I live in Southern California the flowers on this tree start blooming soon after the New Year.
To me Camellias were just one among all flowers, until we one time unsuspectingly walked into a Camellia show held at the botanical garden in Palos Verdes, close to Long Beach. About a hundred growers shared their variety. The exhibit was quite spectacular.
On another occasion we visited the Huntington Library, known for its rose gardens, next to the internationally famed library. Most enjoyable is a walk through the lane with all kinds of Camellia trees. The flowers range from virgin white to several shades of pink to red hot, and even striped varieties. Also, later I found out that there has been a Camellia Society since 1945 in Fort Valley, Georgia.
I began this poem as this first Camelia started blooming by my window.
Camelia, keep alive
the flame of my heart
when winter's still ruling with iron grip
Today peering through the blinds
I see you swinging in the wind
Camellia tell me that
soon it will be Spring.
As coming out of hibernation
where winter nights stretched
till afternoon is left over
a moment for the sun
to wink at the mountains
dressed in snow
with her promise to come back longer,
Were there really frozen ponds
drippings glazed by frost?
Snowflakes falling unendless,
icestorms cracking tree limbs,
or was it a long wordless dream?
Camelia, my first bloomer
I long for the new to come
Tomorrow will be spring.