I still have a vase this size and shape, and would never consider putting anything but violets in it!
When we migrated to Australia, we lived for a time with about 20 other families in a migrant hostel in Kyeemagh, right where the Sydney International Air Terminal is now. The children at the hostel decided to stage a concert for the grown-ups. I offered to go on the program and sing a song I had learned at school called "Peeping Violets." My mother made me an outfit from mauve and purple crepe paper. I was seven or eight at the time.
I don't know if we had any accompaniment, but when it was my turn to sing, I must have started on too high a note, and halfway through the song I couldn't get my voice high enough to finish! I ran off in great embarrassment.
However, practising that song must have imprinted it on my mind, because I still sing it to myself from time to time. Many years later, when Bernie's great-aunt died, I was delighted to find that song in a book that was among her great collection of music!
I still have a little patch of violets in a corner of the garden, and am always delighted when they come into bloom in spring.
I had a fling with African Violets for a few years, and used to propagate them for friends and for Church Fetes. However they lack the whimsical delicacy of the woodland violets, and I now only have one pot, which has defied my neglect over the years.
A few years ago I purchased a beautiful fabric featuring violets, and have loved using it in various ways.
There is another special memory associated with violets, dating back to my late teens. I was in the city (Sydney) one Saturday morning, and passed the flower sellers in Martin Place. I suppose it at a time when I had a little bit of disposable income for the first time in my life, and I purchased a little bunch of violets "just because.." I was actually on my way to a meeting in another suburb, and I needed to ask the owner of the house where we met to put my violets in water for me. Why do I recall all this? Well, it was that afternoon that I met my first boyfriend!
This brings me back to the shed cleaning last week. I had been searching for that "Peeping Violets' music for a couple of years, because I just could not remember some of the words anymore.
At the back of the shed we found a collection of song and music books that I used to use for teaching, including Sunday school and scripture. There were these lovely old Carey Bonner books, one of which had my "Violets" song.
I felt I had been reunited with an old friend!
And here are the words of my "Peeping Violets" song, which was written by Cecily Pike, with the music described as an "Air from the German":
(Children)Violets from the hedgerow peeping
Are you very shy?
(Flowers) Yes, we're very shy
(Flowers) Yes, we're very shy
(Children) Close beneath the leaves you're keeping
Won't you tell us why?
(Flowers) We are only tiny flowers
So to hide we try
Violets dear, we're glad we found you
Do you love us too?
Yes, we love you too.
You make sweetness all around you,
Can we be like you?
Always try to think of others
That is all we do.