August 18, 2010

{The Prickly Beloved}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
The old British sixpence coin became legendary when it was included in the 19th century bridal rhyme “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a sixpence for your shoe.” Before the fabled sixpence existed in the British Empire, coins minted in Scotland used the image of their national flower, the beloved thistle, as a symbol of honor. Then later the thistle joined other botanical images—roses, leeks, and shamrocks—in a garland on the back of the sixpence coin itself. 

I wouldn’t consider the picturesque thistle a romantic wildflower—full of prickly leaves and bristly stems. Author Laura Martin concurs in Wildflower Folklore: “Since the language of this plant is defiance and surliness, a young lady would probably not be pleased to see thistle in her bouquet from an admirer.”

However, beloved it is and a perfect aide memoire . . . a reminder right there on the back of your sixpence coin that it’s great to have people around who love us even on our “prickly” days!

Whatever flowers you use for your wedding, or whatever images appear on your bridal coin, be thankful for all the choices you have. And those times when you’re feeling a bit thistle-like (pretty to look at, but a tad prickly), at least blow loving “long-distance” kisses to your fans and let everyone know you’ll soon be back in full bloom!

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

[Bridal Photograph: Julie Mikos]

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