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The Rose Knows – February 2017

A 1784 English nursery rhyme goes, “The rose is red, the violet’s blue/ The honey’s sweet/ and so are you./ There art my love and I am thine/ I drew thee to be my Valentine.” These sentiments echo the verses on 150 million Valentine cards sent annually in the United States. As with many modern holidays, Valentine’s Day has its roots in antiquity and its proliferation in Christianity and in poetry.

For Those Who Love History

It began with the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration held on February 15. It spread to the Middle Ages with the legend of St. Valentine. Bishop Valentine was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers forbidden to marry promulgated by the Emperor Claudius II. During Valentine’s incarceration, he healed his jailer Asterius’ blind daughter, Julia. The story goes that before Valentine’s execution, he wrote a farewell love letter to Julia signed, “Your Valentine.” Valentine was canonized post humorously St. Valentine for his healing miracle. While alive, he always wore a purple amethyst ring with the image of Cupid engraved on it. Today, Cupid symbolizes love and the amethyst is the birthstone of February.  Julia, it is said, planted a pink almond tree at Valentine’s burial site in the Church of Praxedes in Rome. Thus, the almond tree remains a symbol of abiding love.

Love verses associated with St. Valentine’s were perpetuated by Medieval and Renaissance poets. Geoffrey Chaucer (of Canterbury Tales fame) in his 1382 “Parlamant of Foules” associated Valentine’s Day with the mating of birds in the spring. He proclaims, “For this was on Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.” Perhaps, this explains doves are associated with Valentine’s Day. Roses and other flowers became inherent in the holiday in part due to Edmund Spencer’s “The Faire Queen” written in 1590. He sighs, “She bath’d with roses red and violets blew/ and all the sweetest flowers/ that in the forest grew.” Valentine’s Day is mentioned ruefully by Ophelia in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s Day/ All in the morning betime/ And I a maid at your window/ To be your Valentine…” Aah! Be still my heart!

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Here at Tudor Croft, hearts are also fluttering. Tudor Croft residents to-be have heart-wrenching decisions about choosing house styles, paint colors, room placements, to garage or not to garage, tile or hardwood and on and on. Fortunately, Sure Point Builders and staff are ready to glide residents in these choices to give them solace and a peaceful heart. The new residents moving into 42 Tudor Way, 39 Tudor Way, and 30 Tudor Way have selected unique extras that showcase that Sure Point Builders is a custom home builder. Whether it’s modifying the home plan or adding a touch of flair with finishes, each home is built with passion and heart by Sure Point Builders.

By the 20th century, Valentine’s Day had evolved into lovers sending flowers, candy, cards, and jewelry. Perhaps, here in Black Mountain, one might choose a box of chocolate almond treats from Sweet on Cherry Street, a confectionary at Hey, Hey, Cupcake, or an artfully created piece of amethyst jewelry from Visions of Creations. Just the right card from a store or a hand-written verse might break the ice. Or as echoed in the old nursery rhyme, a jar of sweet local sourwood honey just might do the trick! You think?

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