This week has been all about affairs of the heart, well it was Valentine’s Day on Tuesday after all, and did you know that Saint Valentine was the patron saint of beekeepers?
Definition of heartstring
obsolete: a nerve once believed to sustain the heart
the deepest emotions or affections —usually used in plural <That movie really pulls at your heartstrings.>
If you read last week’s blog, you will know that I am a sentimental little soul, one of last week’s readers affectionately called me ‘soppy’, but I am ok with that. I just love to spread the LOVE and so this week’s ‘Bee Creative’ project was especially great fun!
‘During the ‘Ides of February’, nature is rising, birds beginning to pair, spring flowers opening and honeybees are expanding and keen to find forage.’ And the busy bees of Bee Creative were gathering together to fold paper into hearts to string up and share with the people of Beeston.
That part was fun in itself. Over the past two weeks we have met in coffee shops, around dining tables and at the studio in Two Little Magpies to make enough hearts to make an impact. The folding finally reached its crescendo in The Star Inn on Monday night, where a happy band of folders made the large hearts, to compliment the smaller ones, and make garlands to display in prominent places around the town.
Spurred on by good company and wine, we left the pub at closing to decorate the trees. Gently tying them on with gardening twine, we picked a few locations close together to make sure they would be seen. There was no real plan, but earlier that day a few bare trees had waved their branches at me enticingly and I still had them in my thoughts. Our first location was on a busy road so we put a few strings up here.
It was a bitter cold night and our exposed fingers, weary from all their folding, needed to work quickly to avoid getting numb but it was worth it. I went out the following morning, armed with my camera, to take some pics of them in the (almost) Spring sunshine. They had survived the chilly wind well and the colours stood out against the pale branches and cool blue sky better than I had hoped. It really started my Valentine’s Day off with a smile.
And what about the people of Beeston, what did they think? Well is would seem that they were very well received. Photos kept popping up on my newsfeed via local facebook pages and I might even have received a message or two. Whilst I retraced my steps in the daylight, I spied a few people looking up. But what really warmed my heart was the little boy who pointed up from his pushchair and said, “Look Mummy, hearts!”
But of course, the starring role of the day had to be Beeston’s very own Beeman, who sits on the High Road with his bees and watches over his hive day in day out, and deserved all the LOVE that was bestowed on him that day. It was him that really caused the buzz. The weather has not been kind to the hearts this week, so I thought I had better go and survey the damage this morning and take the heartstrings down.
After all, that is the responsible thing to do. However to my surprise, as I approached the first trees that we decorated, it would seem that they have weathered rather well and as no one had removed them I think we can safely assume that people are still enjoying their presence. So although I did have to cut down the ones that had got tangled in the branches and were looking a little sorry for themselves, the rest remain.
You should definitely read the article by Chris Parks, it suggests Saint Valentine was recruited by the church ‘to oust the Roman feast of Lupercalia (15th February). It was a hairy flock blessing revel of dancing, drinking, sacrifice, love-lotteries and wild sexual expression!’ Valentine was martyred on 14th February, which is why this date has been adopted as a day for celebrating LOVE in a much more wholesome way.
And the project continues…
twenty little packages of ‘heartstrings’ have been made this week, to go into the ‘Self-Care’ boxes that will be given to the women who leave the Mother and Baby Unit after treatment for postnatal depression. This initiative was created and funded by Open House Nottingham and will make such a difference to how vulnerable women will feel as they leave the unit. Many local crafters will be donating, or providing at cost, items to go into the boxes that fit with this theme.
And as for my folding fingers, well I can feel another little project coming on.
Until next time