Saturday, January 2, 2010


January 1st 2010: I cannot let this pass without making an effort to return to my blog. For the last two months I have had many other preoccupations that have distracted me from actually recording events on the blog, although as always I have been taking endless photographs with it in mind.

Since my last post, I have returned to the US, though this time I am staying in Los Angeles instead of Santa Monica. This is because my first Grandchild- my daughter’s daughter- lives here. She was born just over two weeks ago and I was lucky enough to share the magical experience of her home birth.

Because her first name is Violet- Violet Sophi May- I am dedicating this New Year blog to the word Violet. I love the name Violet because it is both a strong, vibrant colour and a Spring flower- colours and flowers meaning so much to me. May, the name of a flower as well as the month, was my mother’s second name.

The colour Violet was named after the flower- first being recorded as a colour name in English in 1370. It is used in two senses, both as referring to the colour of light at the short-wavelength of the visible spectrum and as a shade of purple, a mixture of red and blue light, and not a spectral colour (click for more info). And then there is Ultraviolet light- so named because the spectrum consists of electromagnetic waves with frequencies higher than those we humans can identify as the colour violet (click for more info)...

Violet has many symbolic meanings, such as: in Chinese painting, Violet represents the harmony of the Universe because it is a combination of Red (yang) and Blue (yin); Violet auras are said to be significant, people with them being forward looking visionaries; in Hinduism Violet symbolizes the Seventh Crown, Chakra and in Western churches Violet is the liturgical colour for both Advent and Lent. Coincidentally, Violet having been born in a year of the Ox, in the Chinese Zodiac the colour for the Ox is Violet!

As a Flower, Violet also has a variety of meanings: Love; Modesty; Virtue; Affection; “I’ll always be true” and a Good Luck symbol for women.

The flower itself belongs to the Viola family, which includes the wonderfully patterned Pansies and the charming little wild Heartsease. Violets can be either White or Violet and finding the first ones in the Spring hedgerows always excites me.

Violet as a name was common in Scotland in the 16th Century and became common as an English name in the 19th Century. I have a doll that belonged to my Scottish Great Grandmother that is named Violet- of course this will be given to my Granddaughter, the incomparable Violet Sophi May!

(White Violet, Violet Violets, May blossom)

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