Wednesday, February 06, 2008

switch grass, valentine, holly

In a vase in the hall are some stems of panicum or switch grass. The minute flowers shine like little, white fairy lights.

Almost without exception just now, shop windows, not just florists, jewellers, confectioners and the like, have some reference to Valentine's day. My Oxford Dictionary of Saints says that there is no clear connection, in the lives of either of the two St Valetines, to lovers or courting couples. Both saints were probably martyred on February 14 though in different places and in different years. There were indeed two St Valentines and they lived in third century Rome. The day is, instead, linked to the belief, going back at least as far as Chaucer, that it is when birds are supposed to pair. Meanwhile if either of the two saints is in need of a group to patronise, he could, it occurs to me, choose people engaged in sales promotion.

In the groin of a beach tree bowl in the Grove springs a holly seedling.

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