Dusk is arriving, trying to fool me into thinking it’s a bit cooler. I’ve just come inside and I’m hot and tired, sitting here guzzling a glass of water.
The flower baskets and parts of the garden have now had their daily dose of water … mostly just the annuals and the newest shrubs that might not make it through this heat wave without help. Hubby has measured the water in the well and it’s holding its own, but we never waste it on plants that can manage without it. The lawn is never watered. Most years it stays green anyway. This year it’s rapidly turning brown.
There is one rose bush on our property but it doesn’t do well even when the weather is ideal. It sulks in the shade and acidic soil, but still puts out one or two pink blooms every summer. At least it has until now. Right now the bush has two or three leggy stems bearing only a few leaves and no buds. This summer might see its demise.
I don’t have a photo of any of its blooms. The one above is from the floral arrangement we were given to bring home from the recent wedding we attended. It was white while in bud, but opened to this gentle blush.
Roses have been long used as symbols of love and romance in a number of societies. According to Wikipedia, “Rose” actually means pink or red in a variety of languages, such as the Romance languages and Greek. * I love the tea roses and the David Austin’s fragrant English roses.
On the deck where the wedding was held, the resort had large cedar tubs planted with Calla lilies. I’m told Calla lilies are a symbol of beauty, as well as of magnificence. **
Symbols are objects used to represent ideas or qualities. One source says symbolism is “an artistic and poetic movement or style using symbolic images and indirect suggestion to express mystical ideas, emotions, and states of mind. It originated in late 19th century France and Belgium.”
Symbolism exists in everyday life, for instance when we talk of doves being a symbol of peace or the colour black as a symbol of evil and death, but writers also recognize it as a literary device.
“To develop symbolism in his work, a writer utilizes other figures of speech, like metaphors, similes, allegory, as tools….
“Symbolism gives a writer freedom to add double levels of meanings to his work: a literal one that is self-evident and the symbolic one whose meaning is far more profound than the literal one. The symbolism, therefore, gives universality to the characters and the themes of a piece of literature.” ***
I wonder if symbolism is more common in certain genres. I expect it in poetry. I rarely utilize symbolism in my novel writing. Do you? My unconscious resistance may have something to do with a certain high school teacher whose mission was to make us examine in great detail every piece of literature in our curriculum. She insisted the authors wrote multi layers of meaning into each line and our duty was to determine what they were. It should have turned me off literature altogether, but I chose it as one of my majors. Maybe she was a better teacher than I believed at the time.
Think I’ll settle in with my book now and see if I can discern any symbolism. :)
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