Every year I wait for the beauty of the delicate pink and white blossoms on our apple trees. How to describe the scent? I wish I could bottle it. It is so pure, light and innocent. Then the arrival of the happy honeybees, busily buzzing and trying to make sure each flower on the tree receives a visit. Too soon, a Spring breeze shakes all those lovely blossoms down to the ground to create a carpet of white.
I tried to do a little research on the apple blossom and didn't find too much. Well, not much in comparison to the copious amount of history, folklore and symbolism of the apple blossom's fantastic successor - the bountiful, hardy and very useful apple! But I have made a couple of observations which I believe is where most of folklore is derived; coupled with a few tidbits of history and symbolism.
Firstly, the apple blossom forms a gently rounded five pointed star. This pattern, a natural pentagram, is greatly utilized by Mother Nature in a number of her creations. The apple blossom is part of the Rose family (Rosaceae) and the rose is associated with the Goddess Venus, sexual mystery and as thus can represent itself in another Goddess; the innocent Mary - soon to be mother. The culmination of the apple blossom is the apple; associated with eternal life, knowledge, motherhood and therefore Eve. Secondly, the blossoms arrive in the merry, merry month of May, with the apples all ready to eat, prepare and store away in the magical month of October. This coincides with the Celtic Wheel of the Year, showing May (Beltane) as the month of fertility (apple blossoms) and October (Samhain) as the month of final harvest (apples).
The apple tree has made its way from Rome, to the British Isles and finally, throughout North America where it has been adopted by two American States - Michigan and Arkansas - as their State Flower. This beautiful blossom certainly deserves that honour ... and more!
The Life and Times of the Apple, Charles Micucci, Orchard Books, USA, 1992; Rosaceae, Wikipedia, 2020; World of Aromatherapy, Jeanne Rose, Frog, Ltd., California, 1996
Meadow Sweet Grove © V. Buchanan 2020