War was on the horizon when French horticulturist Frances Meilland developed a hybrid tea rose with petals light yellow to cream-colored and edged with crimson pink.
Wanting to protect the new rose, cuttings were sent away to friends in Italy, Turkey, Germany and the United States. One story has it that the cuttings sent to the United States made it out on the last flight just ahead of the German invasion of France.
The rose cuttings thrived, and because the war prevented communications between the growers, different names were given to the new rose. In Italy, it was called Gioia, meaning Joy, while Germany named the rose Gloria Dei, for glory to God. In France, it was called “Madame A. Meilland” in honor of the breeder’s mother, and is the official cultivar name for the rose.
As the Second World War finally came to a close in Europe, the trade name “Peace” was publicly announced on April 29, 1945, the name it was given in the United States, Sweden and Norway. Later that year delegates at the inaugural meeting of the United Nations were each given a Peace rose with note that read:
“We hope the Peace rose will influence men’s thoughts for everlasting world peace.”
Wishing for more trees (today, the last Friday in April, is also National Arbor Day), more roses, and of course more peace.
Ahead of the storm
Hope blossomed in foreign lands
Roses sweet as peace
Started in 2014 and observed every April 23rd, today is National Lost Dog Awareness.
“This day was created not only to bring awareness to the dogs that go missing but to also celebrate the reunions. Through networks of shelters, veterinaries, social media and other media sources, many lost canines are reunited with their loved ones. National Lost Dog Awareness Day is an opportunity to learn more about prevention and networking.”
Positive thoughts and prayers for the lost that they find their way home, for the searching that they find their friends, and for the many in between who help reconnect hearts.
If prayers were bells
All the world would hear ringing
Leading lost hearts home
Joining Charlie’s invitation to celebrate a National or International Day with a doodlewash and because it is hard to resist the idea of celebrating National Pet Day, (April 11th), here is a morning doodle. Peace and happiness to all companions great and small and the people who love and care for them.
Friends through the seasons
Faithful in good times and bad
Sharing lives and hearts
Return to cold distant shores
Voices on the wind
Last night I heard the passing warble of a Pacific Golden Plover, (Pluvialis fulva), or, as we call them, Kōlea. The name is an onomatopoeia that copies the plover’s flight call.
A timely reminder that April 8th is Draw a Bird Day, a monthly event in our blogging community formerly hosted by Laura at Create Art Everyday, and now cared for by Nina and Kerfe at Method Two Madness.
The Kōlea, navigator, messenger from the gods, guardian spirit, a god incarnate, and a familiar island guest, have wintered here long before man stepped foot on these sandy shores. Many believe the birds helped to guide early Polynesian explorers here and elsewhere in the pacific so it is not surprising they are part of our earliest oral history and even down to today they remain part of our belief system.
These amazing and mighty long-distance flyers, not only find their way back to tiny little specks of lava rock in the middle of the ocean, but they also find the same specific wintering grounds in the islands each year, … such as someone’s backyard. There is a record of a banded Kōlea returning to the same site for over 20 years. No wonder many island residents become attached to seeing their guests arrive year after year.
Most Kōlea have fattened up and their plumage has changed from the golden sandy colors they arrived with in the fall, to more striking breeding plumage complete with a white racer stripe. By next week a few will start to leave, and near the end of the month, large groups will depart on their arduous non-stop journey to as far north as the Arctic tundra.
Though a very few will remain over the summer, by the end of April the absence of Kōlea will be noticeable and people will start marking calendars waiting for their return in the fall. There is still so much to learn from these travelers, they are a link not only to past traditions, but possibly our future as environmental conditions change. As we say in the islands, Aloha a hui hou! (Farewell until we meet again)
(Sketch in Stillman & Birn Zeta series using Quinacridone Gold, Transparent Brown Oxide (Daniel Smith) and Ultramarine Blue (M. Graham) watercolor.)
Tonight in Hilo, Hawaii, the music of hula can be heard. Carried on the evening breeze, melodic voices raised in chant and song, the percussive rhythms of shark skinned drums and hollowed out gourds, the vibrating strings of ukulele and guitars. This week marks the 53rd Annual Merrie Monarch Festival with a week-long celebration that includes parades, arts and crafts, exhibits and fairs, and of course hula, performed in traditional and modern styles.
While every day unfolds pathways for creative journeys, events like this can offer inspiration at every turn and from so many different sources such as the melody of a song, the words of a chant, the strong and graceful movements of a dancer, or the sweet fragrance of blossoms and ferns woven into a lei.
Honoring our ancestors and our elders, being thankful for the traditions handed down while being firmly in the present and looking forward to the future, this is definitely a time for celebration and inspiration.
Stories old and new
Keepers of memory dance
Weaving lei with song
(Painting is watercolor and acrylic on Arches #140 cold pressed)
Just another pen and ink sketchbook doodle (in between projects), while thinking about friends, International Women’s Day and the monthly draw a bird day started by Laura at Create art everyday, and of course done while listening to birdsong.
Smiles of true friends lift
Hearts like flowers and birdsong
Clouds tickle the toes
It is a time of transition, in-between creative projects, a time to put aside paint brushes and reach for the pencil and pens. What better place to relax and ponder over new directions than doodling in the sketchbook. I suppose the arrival of a New Moon and Chinese New Year were on my mind, it seemed to be the direction for my drawings and scribbles. Here in the islands local celebrations include brightly colored decorations, lions dancing in Chinatown streets, and sharing plenty of good food with family and friends. The festivities herald seasonal change while allowing moments of reflection and offering hopes for another new year.
It is a time of transition, … a good time to pause, take a breath, and recharge the batteries before continuing creative journeys, under a shining moon, like a phoenix reborn and filled with possibilities.
Bloom like a phoenix reborn
Red fire monkey laughs
I remember being introduced to the Red Cardinal as a child while visiting my grandmother on her farm in the eastern United States. She loved birds and made sure to have food for them spread on the ground and attached to the ancient pear trees that stood outside of the parlor windows. It was a perfect viewing spot especially during the winter months and the flash of scarlet against the white background was stunning. “Isn’t he a handsome fellow!” my grandmother would exclaim at the sight of a male cardinal visiting her offerings of seed and suet. “Isn’t she a pretty thing, “ my grandmother would say in a softer voice at the sight of a female cardinal joining the feathered party.
Regardless of the season, when a cardinal’s familiar song and trill could be heard, my grandmother would pause in whatever she was doing and listen intently, as if the song were for her. Sometimes she would whistle in return, a conversation only the two of them could understand.
Both my grandmother and mother would often comment while listening to a cardinal’s serenade, on how happy their song was and how wondrous that a scarlet fluff of feathers could be so filled with a contagious joy that one could not help but feel lifted in spirit from just hearing its voice.
The Red Cardinal was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands in 1929 and became well established here. To this day when I hear the familiar piping, trills and song, I take a moment from my activities and enjoy the melody. It is like hearing a familiar voice, of a dear friend, who brings with them fond memories of childhood days and can lift the soul with song.