Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Small Gang of Authors: The Beauty and Usefulness of the Ancient Flower La...

A Small Gang of Authors: The Beauty and Usefulness of the Ancient Flower La...: Author Erika M Szabo http://www.authorerikamszabo.com In my romantic fantasy series,  The Ancestors' Secrets , nearly every ch...

The Beauty and Usefulness of the Ancient Flower Language

Author Erika M Szabo

In my magical realism fantasy series, The Ancestors' Secrets, nearly every chapter starts with a flower and its meaning in the Ancient Flower Language that I learned from my grandmother.

My Grandmother, Rozalia, was born in 1892 in a small town of Hungary. She often told me stories about the times when she was a young girl and a young woman. They didn't have the freedom to date openly and most weren't even allowed to express who they wanted to marry.

But, young women and men were very inventive and they found the way to communicate their fondness and thoughts with each other under the watchful eyes of their parents and chaperones.

When a young man spotted a young lady with a chaperone that he liked, he followed them home, and from then on, he communicated his feelings to her with hidden notes and flowers. When fresh flowers weren't available, they used drawings and paintings, or dry-pressed flowers.

When the young man left snowdrops and lotus flowers for his lady, she new that her suitor is hoping that she's at the age when he could start courting her openly. With this combination of flowers he asked her permission to approach her parents.

Photo credit Pixabay.com

The young lady replied with marigold and pansy, which meant that she's dealing with some inner conflict but thinking about it. Although at this point in the relationship she most likely wanted to say yes or even shout her happiness from the rooftop, but out of modesty, first she let him know that she's seriously considering his offer.

Photo credit Pixabay.com

I added some of the flower language meanings to the chapter heading in my romantic fantasy, alternate history, magical realism novel series that is suitable for young adults as well. Some readers love this added special touch, others don't like it. Judge it for yourself.

Read Chapter 24
Pansy - Thoughts

Elza's Diary

The flower of the simple pansy represents thoughts. Thoughts can be deep, fleeting, disturbing, happy and sad, or life-altering and so on. As we sometimes say, “A penny for your thoughts” when trying to figure out what others think. My thoughts at that point were lightning fast, and they were ready to strike like an angry cobra.

Dear diary,
Today was a disaster. I was waiting up for Ilona, desperate to talk to her. There were so many things that were confusing and unexpected; it was way over my head. Ilona wasn’t opening up so I couldn’t tell her things that she needed to know. I knew I had to tell her the most important information, despite the pain I was facing and had to find out if she had accepted her ability, or if she was still struggling with it. It hurt too much to bring the subject up, but I couldn’t wait any longer. She showed all the signs of knowing who she was, and what she was capable of doing, but I expected it must have been very hard for her, and I wished I could help. She received her little ones when I gave her a pendant, which caused the ravaging fever in her body. As far as I knew, the “little ones” helped to awaken certain abilities in our bodies, but I can’t find out for sure until I turn sixty and will be allowed more access to the inside knowledge.

I remember when I came of age. First, I had the unexpected fever, and then I started having these dreams that came true, one by one. It scared me enough to tell my mother about them. She was relieved that she could tell me everything because I opened up to her. She told me I was a Seer, and I was just happy to know I wasn’t losing my mind. She explained what she knew and how to control and interpret my dreams. She guided me in the use of herbs to see into the future, and alternate futures, as well. She told me that my birthright was to be a Seer, and my destiny to become a Shaman of our tribe when I reach the age to become an Elder.

My poor Ilona, she has no one to turn to or guide her.
Ema gave me a lot to think about, as well. I still didn’t know how to keep her in the protective circle. She wanted to leave, and I knew I couldn’t let her. The Elders were not to discover - ever - that she existed. When we got back from the hospital, I was surprised by her reaction. I’d talked her into going to the ER where they were supposed to meet. It was a simple plan, and to make sure it would happen, I told Rua to send the dreams. He was very reluctant at first, saying the dreams had a higher purpose and we shouldn’t use them for solving petty and personal problems. It took some pushing and convincing on my part before he agreed, and I was so anxious to see them after the dreams were sent. I had a gut feeling that something was wrong when I saw no hint of recognition on Ema’s face while there was disbelief and shock on Zoltan’s when he saw Ema. I tried to figure out what had gone wrong. Ema wasn’t interested at all, yet Ilona and Zoltan had shown the signs of inner connection as they gazed at each other - it was very puzzling. I thought it over when we got back from the hospital, and Ema retreated into her studio.

The dreams are very powerful, why didn’t they respond to them? For everything that is sweet and holy, please… NO! I felt as if a bomb had dropped on me. I rushed out of the house and found Rua the Dream Weaver in the back, pruning the apple trees. “Rua, you’re an idiot and an incompetent fool.” I watched his mortified face as I called him names.

“What, what did I do?” he stammered in humiliation. He placed his weight on his good leg and stood up tall.

“Seriously. Are you the one asking me? You were supposed to send the dream to Ema, but it appears that Ilona got it instead. Ema was supposed to fall in love with Zoltan the Traveler in her dream, and then meet him at the hospital. I suspect Ema never had the dream, but Ilona did, and she’s the one falling for him. Zoltan looked at Ema - whom he was supposed to fall in love with - as if she was his little sister. But he looked at Ilona as if he had found his life mate. That’s what happened, and that’s what you did wrong, you dumb idiot,” I shouted.

“I don’t know what happened,” Rua stammered confused. “I’ve created a beautiful dream with a sunrise, the sound of soothing water and mountains. I gave Ema a traditional Hun outfit; hair flowing in the breeze, the whole romantic scenery, and I even threw in a horse and the scent of Jasmine for a better effect and sent the dream to Ema’s room. From then on, I had no control over what happened, and I have no idea what went wrong.”

Suddenly, I felt as if a bucket of ice water had been poured over me. Holy crap, then it was entirely my fault. It dawned on me. “Rua, I’m so sorry. I forgot to tell you that Ema and Ilona had switched rooms. You couldn’t have known. You did it right; the dream ended up with the wrong person. Ema was supposed to get it, and it reached Ilona instead. I’m so sorry I yelled at you,” I apologized.

“I can understand that you’re angry, don’t worry about it.”

“I don’t know what to do, I’m stunned. Have you any ideas?”

Throwing up his hands, Rua muttered,” It is way over my head. I’m just a Dream Weaver, for the love of the Father, how should I know what to do?”

“You’re right. It is over our heads.”

I - Elza, the Seer of the Huns - was completely and utterly confused. I sat down and tried to gather my thoughts in order to make sense of what had happened. I’d been examining the future and saw very clearly that it was time. Ema wanted to go to art school, but of course, I couldn’t allow that to happen. She had to stay in the protective circle, close to me. That’s why this future was convenient. She would fall in love with Zoltan. He would be happy working in the hospital, and they would settle down in the house I bought for her a long time ago. I would move in with them, and she would continue to be under my protection, ensuring that nobody finds out she exists.

Dear diary, even you couldn’t understand this. It was a very simple future and a very simple solution. I saw it so clearly. Oh, Majestic Ancestors, what a mess. There is not much I could do, except wait. I know if I tried to interfere, I would just mess things up more. I have to lay low, wait and keep my mouth shut until I could see the future again. I could just kick myself; I’d had one purpose in life, and I’d messed up badly.

I decided to gather herbs and go into a trance at the first opportunity, to see how the future would be affected by this mistake. Ilona must have come home late, and I must have fallen asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night in the living room, covered with a quilt.

Next Tuesday I will post about my Award Winner, bilingual children's book,

Pico, the Pesky Parrot

I hope you enjoyed my post.

Read about the Ancestor's Secrets: https://joom.ag/p6fW

And take a look at my page on this blog HERE

nice article about the languages of flowers
Great post, Ericka. Flowers were always used for many different purposes throughout history, including the communication. Flower power all the way.
Thank you Zrinka :)
Lovely post, and I love the way you incorporated the ancient practice of using flowers to convey messages in your book.
Thank you Tima Maria! As with any story, some readers love this special touch, other might think it's lame. I added the flower language as my way of remembering my grandma and her great stories :)
Fantastic post, Erika!
Thank you Mary Anne!