Who could have foreseen that July in Lancashire could turn out as wet as it did, especially after we experienced a warm and amazing spring? This WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY post is the last one in July, supposedly one of our “summer” months in the northwest of England. However, before I become too morbid about our lack of sunshine this month, I will concentrate on the flowers in my garden and learn from them: they keep going despite adversities such as inclement weather conditions.
This could be said of finding true love too; something I discovered about the Second President of the United States – unlucky in love, but despite such adversities, he finally found THE ONE – but I am digressing . . . So, back to my honeysuckle bush. During winter it has no leaves and its bushiness should be evident to everyone walking by, but no one gives it a glance. Come spring and summer however, things are different – bees and us, suddenly take notice – and not without good reason as my images* for this week show.
Seeing such beauty moved American poet, Philip Freneau, (1752 – 1832) to put into words such feelings evoked when he wrote “The Wild Honeysuckle” in Charleston, S. C., in 1786. He speaks directly to a lovely honeysuckle flower, admiring its surrounds and splendour. He sees in this little flower the circle of life from the time we are unseen in the womb to the time we die – a fleeting life – just like this beautiful honeysuckle bloom: profound and touching.
“The Wild Honeysuckle” first appeared in the Freeman’s Journal in August of the same year. The honeysuckle he had in mind might have been the Asalia Viscosun – a white and wild honeysuckle which has a fantastic fragrance as well.
The Wild Honeysuckle
Fair flower that dost so comely grow, Hid in this silent, dull retreat, Untouched thy honied blossoms blow, unseen thy little branches greet: no roving foot shall crush thee here . . . no busy hand provoke a tear . . .
By Nature’s self in white arrayed, she bade thee shun the vulgar eye and planted here the guardian shade, sent soft waters murmuring by . . . Thus quietly thy summer goes . . . thy days declining to repose.
Smit with those charms that must decay, I grieve to see your future doom . . . Unpitying frosts and Autumn’s power shall leave no vestige of this flower. From morning suns and evening dews at first thy little being came: if nothing once, you nothing lose for when you die you are the same . . . the space between is but an hour . . . the frail duration of a flower. – Philip Freneau bing.com/images
I include the above link to copy to your search bar should you wish to read more about Philip Frenau’s family who lived a charmed and interesting life in Mount Pleasant, New Jersey. One of his closest friends, James Madison, became the second president of the United States. He was desperately in love with Philip’s sister, Mary, who refused him and just like the wild honeysuckle bush, he faced some adversity before finding his partner for life a few years later.
I hope you enjoyed today’s WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY post as much as I did writing it. All the best for the rest of the week and don’t forget to comment and/or follow this blog if you wish.
P.S. *Honeysuckles and other photographs are my own. Please ask permission should you wish to use any of them. Thank you!