Echoes of the Garden

Folklore And Myth

Of Tea and Snow

Hans Christian Andersen gives us this story of “The Little Elder Mother”. Elderberry is not the herb most closely associated with remembrance, but I like this tale of our Noble Interest as a kindly Bringer of warmth, Teller of tales, and Healer of discomforts, all achieved with a cup of tea. I find the theme of the eternal cycle of life playing out over generations interesting as well.
You may read it here or listen to it here.

JennLynnDesign via Flickr

The Grimm Brothers bring us a view of the other side of the Elder Mother.  The one that demands that you take responsibility for yourself and your own actions. This Mother is no less kindly than the previous version but her rewards are earned, not simply bestowed. The written version is here. There is a lovely animated version here.

Hermann Vogel - Mother Hulda, via WikiCommons

I've truly enjoyed researching this plant. I found that there is far more to her than I had thought. I'll enjoy remembering her stories and her history as I add more elderberry plants to my garden. Who knows? If I get the hedge that I want planted, perhaps I'll be able to see the Fairy Court as they pass next Midsummer!

Just an extra: While it has nothing to do with elderberries, I found this lovely book, a collection of Elder Tales, compiled by Dan Keding. I’ve greatly enjoyed reading it, and I hope you do, too.

Thank you for joining me this week. Enjoy your weekend and I hope to see you on Monday with a new Noble Interest.

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About Me

About Me

My interest in plants started young. While most of my friends were playing with Barbie or dreaming of horses, I was out in the fields of our farm creating imaginary villages and caching collected seeds, roots and herbs against winter need. When I discovered the library and field guides, I realized that I had found my passion- the interaction between plants and people. While my caching habits have switched to saving more useful plants, some things don’t change. I still …
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