No other flower sings spring like the narcissus. Pop several into a pot topped with soil or moss and keep that spring vibe going long after the season has passed.
There is a wonderful poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)
‘Narcissi, the fairest among them all,
Who gaze on their eyes in the streams recess,
Till they die of their own dear loveliness’.
I remember this poem from school and have held it fast as a constant remember, that only in nature is their true beauty. I wanted to share this poem is because of all the flowers, Narcissi’s end was as a result of such vanity.
In Greek mythology this flower is dedicated to Hades and to Pluto, God of the underworld and hence means death of a beautiful youth, or the decay that proceeds new life. The Three Fates wore wreaths of flowers, the scent was said to be so painfully sweet that it caused madness, the stark reminder that narcissism, the symbol of egotism and conceit, will be punished at the end and close of life. Such a terrible story to accompany such a beautiful early spring flower. I care not for such stuff of the past and as indicated above, look only to nature for beauty.
In the language of flowers, some say that the paperwhite represents - you love yourself too well, or is symbolic of coldness, self-love and stupidity. However, in the Christian faith these darling papery thin flowers symbolize divine love over sin, eternal life over death and sacrifice over selfishness. Thank goodness it all eventually comes right. I’ll stick to the latter.
Narcissus, known for his beauty and self-obsession, met the beginning of his end when he rejected the goddess, Echo. Heartbroken from the rejection, Echo roamed the forests and caves until there was nothing left of her but the sound of her voice (an echo).
Another tales tells that to punish Narcissus, the Goddess of Revenge, Memesis, lured him to a pond where he fell in love with his own reflection. Devastated by the unrequited love from his reflected form, Narcissus slipped into the pool and drowned. It is said that Daffodils follow Narcissus due to their tendency to grow along riverbanks and streams where Narcissus met his demise.