February 7 ~  Key to Its Meaning Passion for Flowers

"Each object is much more than it seems to be. The key to its meaning is in what those who made it said about it, how they used it, and how together they behaved towards it." ~ Smithsonian Institute

With Valentine's Day a week away, here's your chance to not only send your sweetie flowers, but attach a special meaning to the gift.

From the ancient time of King Solomon, the fragrant rose has been the flower of love. The elegant blossom was the signature flower of Aphrodite, the goddess of love.

"A rose is a rose is a rose," wrote poet Gertrude Stein as Egypt's Cleopatra (69-30 B.C.) covered her palace floor with rose petals in anticipation of her lover Mark Antony. Sigmund Freud said that those who dream of red roses have lust on the mind. Bet temptress Cleopatra's petals were deep red.

Poet James Boyle O'Reilly wrote, "And the white rose breathes of love;/O, the red rose is a falcon,/And the white rose is a dove."

Of course, other bouquets have other meaning. For example, give carnations to someone who fascinates you. Gardenias say, "I love you in secret." Because of the shape of its leaves, gladiolus is Latin for sword and means "You pierce my heart." Violets convey the message, "I return your love." And if you need to reconcile with someone, lily-of-the-valley proclaims, "let's make up."

Whatever you choose, the fragrance of flowers is a beautiful celebration of romance and a perfect token of love. As the Chinese Proverb said, "Flowers leave some of their fragrance in the hand that bestows them."

So, if you're looking for a gift, consider flowers and buy them early so your love's perfume may linger before and after Valentine's Day.

There's meaning in everything.