Why I Give The Beloved Girls And Women In My Life Flower Fairy Names

by Becky on May 16, 2013 · 3 comments

in Traditions

Wind Flower

Image, Cicely Mary Barker, courtesy of flowerfairyprints.com

Some of you may wonder, Why Miss Lavender?  Why Miss Zinnia?  Why flower fairy names??

The practice grew out of a moment that occurred many years ago, when I was in a store one day and saw a framed print of one of Cicely Mary Barker’s flower fairies.  Enchanted by the image, I bought it and hung it on the wall in Miss Lavender’s room, certain that even though she was only a tiny thing, Miss Lavender was indeed a flower fairy.  Something about the faces of Barker’s fairies.  Study them!  You’ll spot the innocence right away, sure, but you’ll also notice flickers of other things:  cleverness, joy, even wisdom.  To me, flower fairies seem emblematic of the many kinds of Moments that comprise Being A Girl.

Sure, my older daughter looks like the Lavender Fairy.  I make a practice of choosing fairies who resemble the girls and women who bear their names.  And though my younger daughter has long outgrown the image of the Zinnia fairy (she looks more now like the Iris Fairy or maybe the Snowdrop), I swear the Zinnia fairy’s countenance still matches my daughter’s.

But it’s not just about resemblances.  Flowers themselves fascinate and inspire me.  Endlessly lovely and each with its own distinct energy and essence, flowers are considered by many to be a locus for all kinds of good things.  Lavender, for example, has tremendous healing properties.  Once, when my Miss Lavender was very small, her right arm and a few other patches of her little body were scalded by hot bathwater.  Terrible episode.  Beyond painful for her.  Beyond painful for me.  A wonderful sister-in-law told me about lavender oil and its uses for the skin, and we ordered the purest, best oil we could find and used it on Miss Lavender’s arm.  She and I both have a strong attachment to the smell of lavender as a result of experiencing the oil’s powerful effects.  It seemed to calm her even as it worked its dramatic flower magic on her burned skin, which (miraculously) never scarred.

I suppose it’s an unusual practice, giving every Eleven O’Clock Girl a flower fairy name.  But it works for me.  And those who have received their own name seem to have warmed both to the idea and to the fairy they are named for.  And as far as I’m concerned, Cicely Mary Barker was a peerless illustrator, don’t you agree?

(Which fairies do you warm to??)

Deb May 16, 2013 at 9:13 pm

What’s YOUR flower-fairy name? I vote for Miss Poppy, although you actually look a bit more like C.M. Barker’s Ragwort Fairy. But whoever heard of a fairy (or a woman as lovely as you) named Ragwort? 😉
Love always,
Ms. Celandine

Becky May 17, 2013 at 12:19 am

Esteemed Ms. Celandine,

I hadn’t thought about the Ragwort Fairy. You are too kind! If you want to know a secret, though, I wish I could DRAW!–you know, keep the flower fairy tradition alive by drawing more of them. After all, to my mind, there are no faces anywhere to equal those of C.M. Barker’s fairies.

Very truly yours,

Eleven O’Clock Mom

Dad May 17, 2013 at 7:29 am

I like your vote Ms. Celandine, but for what I know about Becky, I would have to vote for the apricot blossom. I know it’s not a real flower, but rather a blossom. So why apricot?…because it looks so much like Popcorn . Anyone that has driven a car around for the last decade+ with LVPPCRN on her license plate deserves to be named for her favorite food, don’t you think?

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