Lily of the Valley was the first incense scent I ever had, a gift from my brother. It’s scent is now so recognizable to me, and brings back that first feeling of being mesmerized by incense smoke.
This past spring was the first time I’d a seen a living one – it’s amazing what you see when you’re paying attention! The short stalks, sharp and broad pointed leaves, the hanging bell-shaped flowers which seem robust but also have movement and flexibility. There is also their scent, often overpowering in an incense or a perfume, but a delightful surprise as a flower.
In the spring, these blossoms are everywhere. How had a missed it all this time? The sweet smelling flowers are also called “Our Lady’s Tears”, and I enjoy the parallel with plump red berries produced in the autumn, the time of the Sacrificial King and Hero.