Thursday, March 31, 2011

wearing flowers in your hair

Lest my lover should think

My face not as lovely as the flowers

I pin it slanting in my cloud like hair

And ask him to make a comparison

Li Ch’ing-chao



Beautiful Tahitian Woman in Traditional Headdress photo from Mail Online

If I have lived there long enough, one of the things I remember about a place after I have forgotten people’s names are the regional wildflowers.  As a stranger in a strange land, they are one of the first things that offer me the comfort of familiarity once I see them for the second time. 

seascapes 015

Cyprus is full of yellow wildflower fields right now that feel very familiar to me now that I have been here 5 years.  I know well the place in the sidewalk where I can expect more because that is the exact place they came up last year.

Today I woke up with many worries and missing home, but as I went to walk our youngest dog down between the fields something possessed me and I pinched off a flower and put it in my hair.  I have left it there all day because it made me feel completely different immediately.  I was light and happy and no longer worried.  I wore it to do the shopping and my work and people smiled at me.  I feel just fine now.

Maybe we should wear flowers in our hair more often just to lighten up a bit.   I think we could learn a little something from women of yore -  

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite painters who never failed to notice or delight in the flower in a woman’s hair -


Tahitian Women on Beach,  1891  by Paul Gauguin

Three Tahitian Women, 1896  by Paul Gauguin

And with that beautiful Tahitian woman again -


(No wonder Paul went to Tahiti.)

PS  Tradition says if the flower is worn on your left it means you are taken, if on the right then you are single