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Seems to me that airy paperwhites, from the Narcissus family, bridge winter’s fury and spring’s first blushing. Easily cultivated indoors, the dun-colored bulbs, the size of Ping-Pong balls, line watery bottoms of open vases whose tangled roots are stabilized within chips of marble or other stones.

Rotating the potted vases within the sun’s late morning warming facilitates the growth of straight green blades and stirs anticipation for what is coming. After three weeks of tending and waiting and loving, clusters of white flowers exude heady perfume that sweetens kitchens, or wherever placed.

Aside from the paperwhites’ beauty, others take solace in its symbolism: purity, simplicity, new beginnings, and innocence—Even virginal in its wholeness.

However, a review of the Narcissus myth, as told by the Roman poet Ovid and others, affords a different spin on the origins of this delicate flower. Its first flowering resulted from the over-infatuation of the handsome Narcissus, of godly parentage, his spurning other’s attention, and his death related to extreme isolation by the side of a river. Through this tragedy, the gods must have perceived some kind of deliverance and marked its significance by this fragrant flower.

However this story evolved in its multiple versions, it was often represented on the frescoed walls of the wealthy, especially in Pompeii, and the works of Renaissance artists.

But the paperwhites, from the Narcissus genus, still arouse my spirit and fill me with gratitude for their Sacred fragrance.

Silence hums outside my opened window as threads of dawn enwrap the star magnolia, a shrub-like tree, with its fragrant mantle of first flowerings.

We rejoice and give thanks!

Sweetness, the aftermath of a dream, enveloped my waking moments like the profusion of summer vine clematis trailing over a trellis. I smiled, deeply, knowing that I am loved unconditionally, as is everyone else.

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