The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown,
Of all the tress that are in the wood,
The holly bears the crown.
Here in the subtropics it’s easier to forget the significance of evergreens.
True, we have our pines and live oaks, and even in the dead of winter our everyday greenery is much more lush than most parts of the country in summer.
From ancient times – maybe as long ago as the New Stone Age – Druids have held holly and ivy central to their belief in the nexus of spirituality and the physical universe.
Symbols of renewal and growth – and most of all of joyous bounty – on the shortest and coldest days, bright red holly and dark green ivy remind that will spring will always come again even when they’re peaking through mounds of drifitng snow.
We dress schools and churches and banks and hearth and mantle with holly and ivy, fresh-cut trees and mistletoe for color and scent so that by the warmth of the fire we can daydream about springs nights and summer days.
Not too many drifting snowbanks here in sunny Florida, and you’re more liekly to go on a Christmas hay ride than a sleigh ride, but a quiet walk through your neighborhood will you in the right frame of mind to look for Druids and their talismans.
So what if what you find are amaryllis, Christmas cactuses and Palatka holly.
Amaryllis only blooms in winter.
Like Christmas cactuses and holly.
This evening be a sport and put on the “roaring fire” DVD and curl up on the couch under the AC.
Make a date to enjoy your Christmas tree at least 12 times in the quiet after the kids hit the sack.
And remember to wear your holly wreath in your hair.
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OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years and knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org