side note: my mother's name was Flora

Flora, "flourishing one," was the Roman goddess of flowers, gardens, and spring. She is the embodiment of all nature; her name has come to represent all plant life. She is especially a goddess of flowers, including the flower of youth. Her festival of unrestrained pleasure, the Floralia, was celebrated at the end of April and beginning of May; this festival was probably the origin of the maypole dance and the gathering of bouquets of flowers, symbolizing the bringing of spring and new life into the world. She gives charm to youth aroma to wine, sweetness to honey and fragrance to blossoms.

Flora teaches us to honor growing things, both inside and outside us. She is a reminder to pay attention to pleasure, to the beauty of spring, and to new life, wherever it is found.

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Fortuna: Roman
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Ⓒ The Susan Eleanor Boulet Trust (illustration)
Ⓒ Text copyright Michael Babcock