I failed this week. I tried to buy a new scarf for Easter with a lily design. No success so I had to root around in my boxes to find something pleasing. The best I could do was this long black floating scarf with a selection of pretty blooms. If you look closely there are lilies with their long white trumpets, amidst pale pink irises, daisies and even butterflies. As I write in my garden in unseasonable warm sunshine, there is a fat bumblebee flying around me but I think it is too early for butterflies.
So why did I plan to wear a Lily scarf for Easter? I had decided this week to dedicate the blog to my oldest friend (that is if I discount my sister as a friend!) Ruth is a couple of years older than me and is now in a comfortable nursing home in Scotland. She uses the words that, following a stroke, her memory has been stolen. I am glad that these thoughtless thieves left her enough grey cells to remember me! I am also grateful I have my carpet for transport with Euston Station out of action and so much maintenance work on the railways over Easter. It will not take long to reach Dunblane on my magic rug. My friend has a strong Christian faith so Easter is a fitting time for me to return her blessings.
I met Ruth when I was twelve and I transferred from boarding at McLaren Academy in Callander to Stirling High School…..the School on the Rock just below the Castle. There had been a ‘school’ on that spot since 1129 originally for the education of ecclesiastics associated with the Church of Holy Rude. For centuries only boys were educated there. In comparison, McLaren Academy was a mere one hundred years old. My boarding house had its own grass tennis court and I was lucky to have as a fellow boarder, Norma Seacy, who would become 1946 Wimbledon Junior Girl Champion. She had encouraged me as a shy ten year old to take up the game. It was also fortunate that a former Scottish international lady hockey player coached McLaren girls, so by the time I met Ruth, we were both keen team players and had common interests in sport and athletics. Thinking about these school tennis and hockey teams, I searched the bookshelves for the old Stirling High magazines to find photos. Two surprises. The first is the cover, showing the patron Saint Margaret with the Stirling wolf at her feet, the tree of knowledge and…..LILIES in her hand! St.Margaret had been Queen of Scotland before her canonisation, was an English Saxon princess, born in Hungary, as daughter to exiled Edward who had spent his youth in Kiev of all places! How fascinating are these international weavings! I hadn’t expected to find that connection. This week, having found the school mags, I spent hours reading through six different years and surprise no.2 was a photo of artwork by Year 11, paper sculpture entitled SCARVES and again there were the lilies! I found it interesting that the earliest copy sold for 1/- then for 1/3p and by the sixth year it had risen to 1/6p! Old money, that is. So there was 50% inflation even in these days!
So why is the lily associated with Easter? It is said that they were found growing on the spot where Jesus had prayed the night before his Crucifixion in the Garden of Gethsemane and also where his tears fell from the Cross. I cannot verify this but I can quote from Luke 12:27
CONSIDER HOW THE LILIES GROW, THEY DO NOT LABOUR OR SPIN. YET I TELL YOU, NOT EVEN SOLOMON IN ALL HIS SPLENDOUR WAS DRESSED LIKE ONE OF THESE.
Well, I will be dressed on Easter Sunday with my lily scarf. I must take care I don’t get it tangled in the bushes as I search for these chocolate eggs! It will be a treat to spend Easter this year with the family. I trust I will neither labour, nor spin!
(I hope Ruth’s family will print this for her so it brings back happy youthful memories. Not only did she train as a nurse, but she had a second career as a schoolteacher, and where did she end up teaching? My old boarding school in Callander.)
EASTER GREETINGS TO ALL!
Busy Bee, Scarf Face!
Series 2, Blog 93.