Sunday, 18 March 2012

Mothering Sunday – the Hilaria festivals of the Vernal Equinox to honour Cybele


A sunny morning has broken with the forewarning that northerly showery storms are on their way ... too true: from my sunny flat down in Eastbourne town, as I drive up the Downs, I can see the storm clouds building in what was a clear blue sky.

These are the Downs I go up every day to visit my mother ... and I’ll go back for a longer Mothering Day visit later on.  I might have a chance to tell her about the flowering Magnolias, the early Cherries and the range of spring bulbs that are giving us a rainbow spectrum of colour.

Our Mothering Sunday is tied in to the Christian festival and falls on the 4th Sunday in Lent – rather than the Mother’s Day that occurs in May elsewhere in the world.

Crocuses
In the Roman religion the Hilaria festival was held in honour of the mother goddess Cybele and took place during mid-March.  As the Roman Empire and Europe converted to Christianity around 2,000 years ago, this celebration became part of the liturgical calendar as Laetere Sunday – to honour the Virgin Mary and the “mother church”.

Narcissus flower head

It is thought that over time people “in service” were given a day off so that they could visit their families and return to their ‘mother church’.  The children would pick wild flowers along the way to place them in the church or to give them to their mothers as gifts.

Today so much has changed – it is very unlikely that we would walk, would we recognise many of the wild flowers?, we would be had up if we picked them and it is less and less likely that we regularly attend church  (here in the UK anyway) .... while for some the generosity of spirit for their mother is not forthcoming.

Anemones - my mother's favourite
flower - I managed to find some
deep blue ones
Enough of that – back to Hilaria – this sounds more fun ... festive spirits in celebration that the winter with its gloom has effectively gone and a time of abundance is ahead of us. 

The Vernal Equinox occurs on Tuesday, 20th March when we will have a day and night of equal length ... and then next Saturday/Sunday in the UK we will put our clocks forward to attain the benefit of longer days – bliss!  Darkness will occur about 7.30 pm next Sunday .. getting used to the darker mornings is a little off-putting ...

Roasting in medieval times -
from the illuminated manuscript
Tacuinum Sanitatis 14th C
So I, as Hilary, can celebrate the festival of Hilaria with my mother on this Mothering Sunday in the year two thousand and twelve ...


To all who are having wonderful family lunches with their mothers, daughters, grandmothers and to all those who are missing out on a family day together – bring care, thought and love into your homes and hearts.



A few facts that would interest my mother ... the Magnolia is an ancient genus – having evolved before the bees appeared - the flowers developed to encourage pollination by beetles.  To avoid damage from these pollinating beetles, the carpels of Magnolia flowers are extremely tough.

Fossilised specimens of Magnolia have been found dating to 20 million years ago, and of plants identifiably belonging to the Magnoliaceae dating to 95 million years ago.


Incredible plants ... and amazing facts we learn about evolution and how each member of the world’s flora and fauna has adapted in some way ...

Centre of a tulip showing multiple connate
carpels surrounded by stamens
Happy Mothering Sunday – My Mama was awake, lucid and full of the joys of Spring on Thursday and Friday – remembering things that had been going on ... it’s always a delight to one and all – the staff love it, Janice, Andy and Susie (our visiting therapists) experienced it this week too ... it does warm the soul.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

77 comments:

Old Kitty said...

The Festival of Hilaria! What a most wonderful festival to celebrate and your namesake too! Double the celebrations all round!!

Happy Mothering Day to your mum!! So glad she was full of the joys of spring and sunshine! She sounds a most delightfully wonderful woman with great taste in flowers! Anemones are one of the most difficult words for me to pronounce! LOL! I can spell the darned word but saying it, my tongue gets most cross eyed! Or cross-tongued! LOL!

Enjoy your Sunday! Take care
x

hyperCRYPTICal said...

What an excellent positive letter Hilary and so informative too! Have a wonderful Sunday.

Anna :o]

Robyn Campbell said...

Magnolias! I love them. And gardenias too. I have gardenias, but I want to have more this season. Thanks for the lesson.

Tell your mother we all said Happy Mothering Day. I know she'll be thrilled with your visit, Hilary! I am so glad she has had such clear days. I know that makes her so happy. To be aware of all that is going on in life.

So much today has changed. You are right. Even here in the U.S. *sigh*

(((hugs)))

oceangirl said...

Wonderful celebrations and they have wonderful and fitting names.

Stephen Tremp said...

I learned something new today. I did not know any of this. The Romans were always doing something to help unify their realm of influence. Introducing pagan holidays and other celebrations were one very effective way to reach the masses that held to countless differing belief systems. Thanks for the history lesson!

Bossy Betty said...

Thanks for letting me in on the story of these beautiful celebrations! Thanks for coming by today too!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Old Kitty - I hadn't realised there was a Festival of Hilaria - suited me to find out today!

My mother is amazing and was truly incredible - lots of indomitable spirit here.

Indomitable and phenomenon I have troubles with .. one right, one wrong - now both right!!

My mother loved her plants and flowers ...

I hope your Sunday tongue has uncrossed itself or detwisted itself ..? I did laugh at your comment .. made me smile a lot .. thanks ...

@ Anna - many thanks - my mother loved information ... so she would be very interested in this ...

@ Robyn - magnolias are magnificent - and the storm hasn't come, so perhaps they won't get battered and bruised down here. Gardenias are so wonderfully scented .. I'd love to have some of those.

My mother was not as clear as Thursday ... but she was happy and it makes my life easier.

You're right so much has changed in our lifetimes .. but there are some wonderful people out in the world still ... thankfully.

@ Ocean girl .. the names of our customs or their derivations are of great interest ... and in this case fit so well, as you say.

@ Stephen .. glad you enjoyed the post - history is always teaching us something isn't it .. good to see you ...

@ Betty .. delighted you enjoyed the flowers and celebratory thoughts - it's a pleasure to have you back and pay you a visit ..

Thanks so much Old Kitty, Anna, Robyn, OceanGirl, Steve and Betty - lovely to see you .. have a great week ahead .. Hilary

M. Reka said...

What a beautiful positive letter Hilary and so lovely images too!
Tell your mother Happy Mothering Day from me :).

with love
Marinela

rosaria said...

I had no idea about magnolia being an ancient species! One of the things I like about blogging is just this simple exchange of factoids for which we all gain more wisdom.
Happy Mothering Day, Hilary.

Patsy said...

What gorgeus flower pictures!

Glad your mother has been full of the joys of spring this week.

MorningAJ said...

It must be wonderful to have had a good relationship with your mother. I'm glad you've had a good time with yours.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Marinela .. many thanks - my mother has always loved getting messages from overseas bloggers!

@ Rosaria.. nor had I any idea about early magnolias - but on the subject of exchange of factoids and ideas .. we all can learn so much, exactly as you say ..

@ Patsy - thank you .. and yes it's been lovely having some fun times with my mother ..

@ Anne - thank you - it's been great particularly in the last few years .. I have many happy memories ..

So pleased to see you on this Mothering Sunday .. cheers Marinela, Rosaria, Patsy and Anne .. have good weeks .. Hilary

Joanne said...

We already set our clocks ahead. I remember back in the day we didn't set the clocks ahead until the end of APRIL! It keeps getting bumped earlier and earlier. I preferred it later in the season ...

I hope you had a wonderful day visiting with your Mother, just being together on this special day.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thank you for the history lesson! Hope you had a wonderful day with your mother.
And I still attend church every Sunday.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Hilary -

So glad your mum had a good day! The pictures are lovely.

Blessings,
Susan

Susan Scheid said...

I wondered about the different in the Mother's Day dates between here and the UK--and now, thanks to you, I'm filled in on the facts. And of many fascinating facts, the one of the magnolia particularly caught my eye. Isn't the natural world wonderful? It sounds as if you and your mother had a lovely day. How very fine that is!

Liara Covert said...

Calendars are curious phenomena. They encourage people to love and appreciate particular people on particular days. Another option to to love and appreciate everyone everyday.

The changing seasons invite us to make the most of each moment, to cherish the subtle nuances of Mother Nature and also to feel free to reconnect to our outdoor environments. Its wonderful to notice more people recalling the significance of the Equinox and living more according to the harvests of seasons. Plants and vegetation invite each of us to be more aware of how interconnected we are to light + dark, the length of days and movements of celestial bodies. Thanks for all your insight

Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger said...

Hi Hilary, that was a very thoughtful and informational post. I enjoyed the read and the beautiful flowers!

Duncan In Kuantan

Marja said...

Happy mothering day. Oh how wonderful for the children to pick wild flowers and give them to their mother or the church. i agree it should happen these days as well. I just looked at a video my brother send me from a family lunch and I so missed everbody. Your family is indeed very precious I can't wait to go to Holland Wish you and your mum all the best. Hugs marja

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Joanne - I hadn't realised you used to put your clocks back until the end of April .. I just love the longer evenings ... good luck with your tour ... and lots of success with the book.

@ Alex - pleasure re the history lesson ... I was able to sit with my mother and she was awake. We have visiting Chaplains, who will give Mum a blessing - and my mother was a regular Church goer - so I've maintained that as best I can in a Nursing Centre.

@ Susan - thank you .. we had a peaceful time together and at least it was sunny ...

@ Susan - the differences always slightly surprised me til I realised why as to the two dates for separate Mother's Day festivals. The natural world is amazing .. nothing is better than when my mother and I can share time together and we get these occasional bursts of life, otherwise she's very happy for us just to be with her. It's that company that's so essential ..

@ Liara - you're so right we should love everyone every day - but these special days can give extra highlights by changing the routine a little.

We are appreciating the seasons and learning to work with them ... we will need to more and more in these austere days. The ancients were so in tune with their day to day existence ...

@ Duncan - glad you enjoyed the post ..

@ Marja - I know you miss Holland so much and the times with your family - I hope you can get back over sometime soon. I'll pass on your wishes to my mother .. she loves to hear from everyone ..

Thanks Joanne, Alex Susan, Susan, Liara, Duncan and Marja - lovely to see you here .. cheers Hilary

Romance Reader said...

What a great letter, Hillary!
Happy Mothereing Day to your mum!

Riya.

Alan Burnett said...

Of course another great advantage of the type of joint project I and Jennyfreckles are involved in at the moment is that you discover new blogs. Even after five years blogging away, it is still a pleasure to discover blogs that are new to me. I am going to enjoy following yours, I'm sure.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Riya .. many thanks - I sat quietly with my mother, but that's the best thing to do - at least I was with her for a few hours.

@ Alan .. many thanks that's a wonderful compliment - your project with Jenny Freckles is going to be so much fun - I totally agree ... looking forward to your next pictures and postings .. both your 'takes' are so different on life in Thornton.

Great to see you Riya, and nice to welcome you here Alan - cheers for now .. Hilary

Shirley Wells said...

What a fascinating post, Hilary. I'd never heard about the Hilaria festival.

Lovely pictures as always. I adore anemones. Like Old Kitty, I struggle to pronounce that word. And if I'm honest, I struggle to spell it too. :)

Glad you were able to spend a few hours with your mother.

Jo said...

Very informative Hilary, I had no idea about the festival of Hilaria nor about the Magnolia being such an old species. Particularly interesting when bees are disappearing.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Shirley - you had the weekend off??? Mother's Day is worth it isn't it!! I hadn't heard about the festival either .. glad you enjoyed the photos .. a few words can cause me a few challenges - but it was a good few hours ... thank you.

@ Jo - delighted you enjoyed the post, particularly the Hilaria festival and the magnolia ...

I've just spotted in a Bee Book I was glancing through - that "crops are pollinated by rain, wind, butterflies, birds and honeybees; but the honeybees are the only pollinators we can depend on" ... this was written in 1982 - I'm not so sure that is right now - as honey bees are in desperate straits.

Good to see you Shirley and Jo - have good weeks .. cheers Hilary

Journaling Woman said...

What a great celebration. I spent Sunday with my mother and it was fabulous.

So great your mother was doing well.

Teresa

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

What a lovely holiday! I love magnolias, too...they're widespread here in the southern US.

Have a happy week!

~Sia McKye~ said...

What a lovely post, Hilary. :-) I love the picture of the Downs. You live in such a pretty area too, close to the sea and lots of sunshine and flowers. I enjoyed the pictures and history.

Glad your mother was doing well for your visit. That has to give the day a special feel.

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

Clarissa Draper said...

Mothering Day! How lovely!

I hope you have a wonderful day with your mother and thanks for the wonderful facts about flowers (flora and fauna)--how beautiful they are.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Teresa .. so pleased you had the time with your mother and that you both enjoyed it so much .. it just makes a difference doesn't it ...

@ Elizabeth .. it's a good time - Spring is here .. and the magnolias are just beautiful at this time of year in their full blossom before the leaves appear - I hadn't realised they were widespread in the southern US ... enjoy tonight giving your talk .. and you too have a good week.

@ Sia .. it is a gorgeous part of the world - we are very lucky .. sort of just about everything around here .. and yes - it did give Mothering Sunday a special feel.

@ Clarissa - the Nursing Centre distributed daffodils around to each room - brought cheer to everyone's hearts apparently - so bright and colourful - sunshine like.

Delighted you enjoyed the facts re the flora and fauna .. flowers are just incredible in their variety too ..

Cheers Teresa, Elizabeth, Sia and Clarissa - great to see you all here .. Hilary

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Hilary,

Interesting stuff, as usual. This is the first time I've heard of Mothering Sunday, which is a nice concept. Lovely flowers too!

Karen Lange said...

Your photos are quite the colorful treat - thanks so much! Things are getting ready to bloom here, actually, a few flowering trees already are. Spring has surely arrived, if not on the calendar for us, but in the temperatures.

Thanks for all these interesting bits of information, Hilary. I never fail to come away from your blog informed and having had an enjoyable time!

Hope your Mom is doing alright.
Happy Monday,
Karen

TALON said...

So glad you and your mother had a beautiful day, Hilary. There is something so uplifting in Spring, isn't there?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ JL .. many thanks - Mothering Sunday is a lovely day .. and glad you enjoy the flower photos.

@ Karen .. delighted you enjoyed the flower pictures - things are like that here - the early ones are on their way. Actually we're going to have a pretty cold night - it's clear as a bell!

Glad you enjoyed the post, with the extra snippets of history/ information -

Thanks my Mama is as fine as can be ..

@ Talon - many thanks .. it's lovely to have her awake and talkative at times. Spring is certainly uplifting - I love it -

Cheers JL, Karen and Talon ... good to see you - thank you for visiting .. Hilary

A Lady's Life said...

Your flowers are so beautiful and celebrating Hilaria is a wonderful idea. Makes you feel proud to have a name day. :)

Richard said...

I'll never forget spending the night at my grandparents' house. I slept on the second floor end bedroom. When I woke up, across the street were the huge white blooms of a magnolia tree. I was maybe 7 or 8 years old, maybe younger, at the time.

Susan Scheid said...

Hilary: I must finally say what I have so often thought: you are the world's best daughter--so happy daughter's day to you!

Donna Hole said...

That was beautiful Hilary - both the flowers and the tribute.

.......dhole

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ A Lady's Life - I need to thank the Romans for Hilaria .. and yes Hilary is quite a good name for me - lots of links and connotations.

@ Richard - that must have been a wonderful time for you .. the memory of childhood days with your grandparents and that bedroom .. and now the stirring of the great magnolia blooms beaming at you through the window.

@ Susan - I really appreciate this comment - and my mother does love having me around ... and appreciates my visits .. I know that: it is a daughter's blessing.

@ Donna - many thanks .. she does love her flowers.

Thanks so much .. it is lovely to see you all here: A Lady's Life, Richard, Susan and Donna .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

My Mother sends her blessings and thanks to you all and all commenters over the years - I was able to tell her she had lots of love from around the world ... and how everyone enjoyed our flowers we share together.

With much gratitude ... xoxoxo from us.

Glynis said...

You write such heartwarming posts, Hilary, and this one was delicious!

So thrilled that Mum was in good spirits, and may it continue to be so.

Talli Roland said...

I love that you have a festival to celebrate! I think I should come up with one of my own.

I always wondered why Mothering Sunday was in March in the UK. In North American, it's in May. Now I know!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Glynis - many thanks - I know my mother would enjoy them - and as long as she's happy and settled then I can do no more - I'm there.

@ Talli - that sounds like an excellent idea - the WineTalli Festival of the Canadian-London Ides of March ... then we can all join in - all the bloggers having a shindig??

Enlightenment as to the meaning of Mothering Sunday v Mother's Day - glad I could help.

Cheers Glynis and Talli - lovely having you here .. Hilary

Sara said...

A belated Happy Mothering Day. I like the term, "Mothering" better than our "Mother's" Day in the States.

The word Hilaria is a wonderful word and it's connection with your name makes The Festival of Hilaria even better.

Not long ago, I was doing some research for a story and stumbled on a sight that talked about flowers and how each one had a special meaning. Bouquets had to carefully selected so not to send the wrong message via flowers. It was great:~)

As usual, I enjoyed this mini-history lesson about Mother's Day. You always make them so interesting!

Inger said...

What a sweet post, Hilary. I always wanted to see the Downs, but never did while I lived in England.

The Blonde Duck said...

I think Magnolia would be a cool name for a little girl.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sara - well we have two days a year when we should take our mothers especially into our hearts .. but as Liara said above - we should show love and consideration at all times to all peoples - that is especially true. Hilaria - was a good festival to find out about!!

I love the meaning of flowers - in the old days in was a form of encryption ... showing your love - so I can imagine you relating to that information. Kate's, Prince William's wife, bouquet and the lace flowers used in her dress all meant something within the Language of Flowers. Then there were the jewels too ...

It's fun learning these things - and wonderful to see you here ..

@ Inger - thanks so much for coming over, and I hope you start feeling a lot better soon ...

I posted an article on the Downs - when I did the Challenge last year - D is for Downs ...

If you ever get here .. do come and visit ...

@ Blonde Duck - Magnolia is a good paint name .. but could well be a good name for a little sugar and spice and all things nice girl!

Cheers Sara, Inger and Blonde Duck .. good to see you - Hilary

Ella said...

I love this post, so cheery and uplifting! Hilaria is a great festival with such a beautiful message~

I just bought a second hand book on the language of flowers! I love it~

Such a touching post~ Hope this day was special for you and your Mother!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ella .. it is really cheerful isn't .. and flowers are so wonderful in all their glory - let alone their language ..

It's funny to find a Roman festival with my name attached to it! ..

Delighted you enjoyed the story .. my mother does enjoy things happening around here - even now ..

Cheers Ella - so lovely to see you .. Hilary

Joylene said...

What a festive idea. The Festival of Hilaria or Mothers. I like it. Course any excuse for a day off works for me. Glad you are so close to your mother, Hilary. What a comfort you are to her, I'm sure.

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,
How delightful and the celebration of the festival with your mother on Mothering Sunday.
And speaking of Mothering Sunday and Mother's Day in North America, my mum, living in Vancouver can celebrate Mother's Day wishes, twice in one year and quite right too!
May the renewal that is Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, bring much joy and inspiration to you and your loved ones.
In kindness, Gary

walk2write said...

Happy Hilaria to you and your mother, Miss Hilary! Your posts are always a pleasure to read. Once we get settled in, I hope to take some spring garden pics and blog a bit more. I've missed so much in the last few weeks.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Joylene - it seems to be working - it's been going 2,000 years! And how right you are - a time of rest for all mothers is always appreciated. Yes - it is good to be near my mother - at least providing her with moral support and my presence.

@ Gary - yes your mother does quite well doesn't she - I'm sure you are a good son, despite being so far away. Lots of phone calls and the occasional visit - I hope you can get across again soon. Spring is definitely here - it's positively balmy outside this early morning!

@ W2W - good luck with finishing off your move - but you're there for the right time - as Spring is on its way - your spring garden project sounds wonderful .. see you soon.

Cheers Joylene, Gary and W2W - many thanks for your visit - see you soon... Hilary

The Blonde Duck said...

Happy Wednesday!

Rosalind Adam said...

I like the thought of us walking back to where we were born, picking wild flowers on the way for our Mothers. We'd be lucky to find any wild flowers these days, never mind being told off for picking them.

I do hope your Mother was awake when you visited on Sunday. I really missed my Mum, the first Mother's Day without her.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Blonde Duck .. many thanks - beautiful day here.

@ Ros .. I remember our garden and picking flowers at various times of the year for my mother .. it's a sad indictment about the wild flowers and our times .. disrespect for anything isn't shown any more ...

My mother was awake on Sunday .. but wasn't as cheerful as she'd been on Thursday .. when she was back to her talkative days!

Thanks Ros - this first year without your mother .. must be very challenging and upsetting .. I feel for you .. my empathetic thoughts winging north ... Hilary

Madeleine Maddocks said...

Goodness I've never heard of the festival of Hilaria before. What fun!
Hope you and your mum had a great day of celebrations or relaxation.
I got hayfever from my Mothering Sunday flowers so I gave them to some neighbours to enjoy.

Ann Best said...

As always, what a wonderful post, my friend. And one that reminds us of beauty that most people today don't stop to notice, or even are aware of.

I would love to WALK with you through those Downs to visit your mother. How beautiful they are! And the magnificent magnolia. I lived in San Diego, California, with a college roommate and her older sister and brother in law during my 20th summer, and every morning walked to the bus stop to go to my summer job. I always passed by several gorgeous magnolia trees. They are what I think of as a Heavenly flower.

We got a deluge of rain last evening which further greened and blossomed our area. Easter. I love the season, and everything that Easter represents: resurrection, hope, beauty.

Thanks again for this positive and beautiful post!!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

Friko said...

A lovely post, Hilary, full of the joys of Spring, Mother's Day and a little learning thrown in. It's always a pleasure to ramble along with you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ann .. many thanks - now that would be a treat for both us .. walking the Downs together. Admiring all the flowers, trees, plants and weeds - I suspect we wouldn't get very far!! But there's some excellent gardens here too ..

The magnolias are just such glorious flowers - I like your term the Heavenly flower - that'll be my name for them in future.

Lucky you with your deluge of rain - we need (I'm told!) six months' worth to fill the reservoirs and ground water .. it's just not going to happen.

Easter is a fabulous season for many reasons .. and I love your representation .. resurrection, hope and beauty .. just delighted you enjoyed the post ...

Thanks so much .. lovely to see you - I'll be over shortly .. cheers Hilary

Hi Friko - many thanks - I do seem to wrap things up don't I - but I love your posts .. however I do my learning thing down here too - delighted you enjoyed the ramble.

Thanks Ann and Friko .. now to find Madeleine - who's got lost in Blogger land somewhere .. cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Madeleine .. Blogger didn't like you much - there isn't a Roman Blogger Festival is there?! It sent you off to spam - rescue is at hand!!

I'd never heard of Hilaria before - so that is fun .. Mum and I spent some time together ... and she enjoys the visits she does receive.

Oh oh - poor you - that's terribly sad to get hay fever from flowers .. but I bet your neighbours are enjoying them ...

Lovely to see you - thanks for being here .. and just hope the Hay Fever season doesn't bite too much .. cheers Hilary

Susan Blake said...

Hilary we have flowers now too - not as many as in your post but my daffodils are up a month ahead of time! So interesting about the Magnolia - it was my mothers favorite too. My neighbors magnolia across the street is in full flower!

I am so ready for the summer but so shocked that we have it in March! Knowing Chicagoland, this could all change in a heart beat, but I'm praying it won't damage trees and plants if it DOES decide to drop some snow on our spirits!
Hugs
SuZen

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Wow, lots of new information here today. Thanks for being such a good teacher. I had no idea magnolias were so old, but I can sure close my eyes right now and conjure up their heavenly scent. I'm so glad your mother was lucid for your visit together. Take care.

Linda said...

So glad your Mom has you and the joy of Spring in her heart. It is such a lovely time of year. Although Spring doesn't always follow the calender as Nature has had it quite nice and warm here for a while. All the flowers are coming out, as well as the trees, which for some equals sneezes.

Jannie Funster said...

WOW, loving that center of a tulip, Hilary of mothering Hilarity and grace.

So many beautiful flowers.

And to think bees came after magnolias -- amazing. Just amazing what they're still uncovering by way of evolution. Pretty cool!

xoxoxo

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susan - glad you enjoyed the info .. it's the kind of thing I enjoy. Magnolia scent is gorgeous isn't it .. my uncle had a tree, which I loved to spend a few moments under at this time of year soaking up the gentle scent. Thanks too re my mother ..

@ Linda - I agree nature doesn't always match the calendar .. but it looks as though it will - that time of hope .. Spring. Sorry about the sneezes - gosh I'm grateful I don't suffer that way!

@ Jannie - I'm pleased I found the tulip photo .. and your Hilary phrase .. amuses me! This time of year is gorgeous .. it is amazing how much we're find out now - totally agree -

Thanks Susan, Linda and Jannie .. lovely to see you - cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi SuZen .. sorry! thankfully I just spotted I'd missed you .. Good to see you ..

The flowers are blooming everywhere it seems - I was fascinated about the magnolia .. glad you can see one across the street.

Ah Chicagoland - the land of hot and cold - I hope you don't get a dump of snow to squash the new growth or damage the trees ..

But are spirits are rising - Spring really is on its way .. enjoy - cheers Hilary

Theresa Milstein said...

Your mom is right, anemones are beautiful. And a fun word to say as well.

Each year, I get surprised when my UK blogging buddies wish me a Happy Mother's Day. You've forewarned me! So strange that they're not at the sa me time.

I'm glad to hear your mother was in a good place.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Theresa ... I'm sure I remember anemones as an early Spring flower - but I can get them for my Mama's birthday in October and then rarely - but occasionally the purply ones are around. I love them - so jewel like.

Mothering Sunday came first - ?! Then the Americans worked out they needed a Mother's Day too - or perhaps Hallmark did?!

Yes - my Ma is 'fine' .. at least she's well looked after .. Thanks so much - so lovely having you here.

Cheers Hilary

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

I didn't know there was a festival of Hilaria - but of course there should be! Is there anything as lovely as spring flowers? Such a sign of hope and renewal. As a child, I'd stop along the roadside and look for the violets hiding among the vines. I loved my walk home from school, and I'd do it now gladly.

The Golden Eagle said...

It sounds like a wonderful festival!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Melissa - nor did I know about the festival .. quite pleased to have found it. I agree .. nothing as lovely as a warm sunny spring day with flowers around us .. Love the thought of a little girl wandering the lanes looking for violets - as a 9 year old I remember a woodland hollow that we used to visit - just full of celandines - so beautiful ..the yellow of Spring.

@ GE - thank you ..

Thank you Melissa and GE - it's such a beautiful day here .. warm already ... enjoy the weekend .. cheers Hilary

juliet said...

Happy Hilaria - what a great word that is. Once again I've enjoyed learning new things from your blog. I never knew that about the magnolias. Happy Mothering Sunday to you (belatedly). Your mother is so lucky to have you there.
I'm just catching up as I've missed some posts, not having them notified any more. Must check out what went wrong.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Juliet - good to see you - and no worries ... I know you've had friends staying ..

Thank you re my Mama .. and she would love this information .. she used to be amazed at the subjects we covered.

Hope you have a good weekend .. as it's that time now - cheers Hilary

Grace said...

Hilary,.
I have been absent too long and have missed your sparkling wit.

Once again you have taught me something...about the magnolia and beetles.

I don't think I have shared this with you before, but I am touched with your devotion to your mother.

You are a Good Daughter.

In Him,
Grace

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Grace - that's really kind of you - I just sort of rattle and roll don't I ... lots of variety and stimulation that's my motto I think.

It's extremely kind of you to comment on the care I give my mother - and she certainly appreciates it .. she calls me her Emmanuensis - a word you'd relate to ...

With thoughts as we come towards Palm Sunday and Easter .. Hilary