There are stunning beauties who are high maintenance and need a lot of attention. If the spotlight shifts a bit, if the conditions are a little less favourable, they wilt and die. In contrast there are the more commonplace, simple, easy people – all they need is a little sunshine and they smile from ear to ear. I am a fan of the common, wild, flowers – each time I see a daisy, I am amazed at the pleasantness of the flower.
The name Daisy literally means ‘Day’s eye’. It blossoms at the first sight of dawn and sleeps when the sun goes down. The yellow and white heads seem to greet and meet every passer-by. Bright and cheerful in appearance, they grow randomly all over the mountainside almost as if someone has taken the trouble to strew our paths with flowers.
The ancient Egyptians were well-aware of the virtues of the daisy. They were grown in their temple gardens and used in herbal medicines. King Henry VIII of England consumed huge amounts of daisies to help him soothe pain due to stomach ulcers. In fact, you do not have to be royalty to eat the leaves of fresh daisies. They’re great in salads and high in Vitamin C.
Just as the tastiest fruit of the orchard can be recognized by the fact that a parrot has sampled it, so the sweetest flower can be identified by the bees it attracts. The bees love collecting nectar from this flower which is actually a two-in-one flower. The flat shape of the flower is especially attractive to bees because there's plenty of room to land on the yellow center to collect pollen and nectar. The centre of a daisy is starshaped and contains hundreds of smaller flowers that combine to create a cluster which allows bees to efficiently collect a lot of food from one landing. No wonder the daisy petals are used for the ‘loves me, loves me not’ prophecy.
A Christian legend tells that the Wise Men on their trek to find the Baby Jesus requested a sign to help them. They suddenly noticed many clusters of small, white, daisies near a stable. Recognizing the flower’s resemblance to the star overhead, they knew they had found the Holy Family. Since then, daisies have symbolised new beginnings, peace and spirituality and innocence.
The cheerful, friendly daisies are like pearls strung together and they adorn the Darjeeling Hills. They beckon you to take some time out to pick daisies and make a daisy chain, bedeck your hair with it and lie down on the grass staring at the clouds floating by. The daisy chain wont last but the priceless memory will be with you for a long, long time.
Fresh as a Daisy
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