Saturday, June 25, 2005

and for the next flower holiday...

In her blog, Knitting Iris mentioned wanting a special holiday for celebrating poppies. I couldn't agree more. As another person living in a short-summer, long-winter climate, I think it's important to our mental, spiritual and physical health to celebrate and make the most out of every flower.

The flower I want to nominate for the next holiday is the coreopsis (also known as tickseed.) To me, tickseed is a Yooper flower - sturdy, hardy and long-blooming; no frills, with a no-nonsense name. It thrives in poor soil.

It looks like a daisy dyed yellow and hastily trimmed with pinking shears; it's beautiful to me, but it isn't an exotic orchid by any stretch of the imagination.

To me, the coreopsis blooming is synonymous with the start of summer. This is when my corner of Michigan's Upper Peninsula is at it's most beautiful.

Coreopsis always starts blooming just about at the summer solstice, which seems fitting--not only do we have fifteen-hour days but even the ground itself is filled with sunshine-yellow flowers, like we can't possibly fill our world with enough sunshine. And we can't. Those of us that lived through the nine-hour days of December need sunlight like we need food and water.

Like all the rest of the sunflower family, coreopsis follows the sun. It is disconcerting to walk down the highway at sunset and have all the flowers facing away from you, as though they are turning their backs on you. But there is something beautiful, wistful, and very nearly human about a flower that always faces the sun. The coreopsis, like the rest of us Yoopers, can't get enough sunshine.

Long live the coreopsis! We'll celebrate by laying in a deck chair in the sunshine all day with a bottomless glass of iced tea. (well, most Yoopers would prefer beer or pop, but I'm the one making the holiday, so it's iced tea. The Yoopers won't care, they'll drink what they darn well please anyways.) We'll grill something for supper - anything to stay outside. Our kids will pick wild strawberries, swat mosquitos, and splash in the lake. They will present us with enormous bouquets of tickseed, which we will put on our kitchen table in juice glasses and jelly jars.

Coreopsis day is to be celebrated on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Happy sunshine day!


Anonymous kim said...

What a neat idea. Maybe next year I'll have a squill holiday. I don't know that I've "met" tickseed, If I were driving past, I might've just guessed the sea of yellow was dandelions. Now I am wondering about all the fields I've seen in the past, seas of yellow flowers, that I just assumed were dandelions. I will have to look closer.

6/25/2005 9:12 AM  
Blogger Iris said...

I'm finally getting back to you. Those coreopsis/tickseed are outrageous!!!!! THAT is certainly something to celebrate! We haven't had a Poppy party, what with camping and the subsequent rain,but I have lots of time now to plan it for next year....Tissue paper and pipe cleaner poppies, too. I'll have to steel myself for the sugar rush and subsequent sugar crash that would certainly follow all those sweet treats, too.

6/29/2005 6:54 PM  

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