Friday 9 October 2009

To Feed Thy Soul

When I was younger, much younger, just a girl at uni, I pencilled this Persian saying on my wall. It has remained wallpapered on my memory since the day I first read it.

"If you have two loaves of bread, sell one and buy a hyacinth, for it will feed your soul."

As much as I love food and cooking and eating, given the ultimatum I would forgo food for flowers*. They remind my soul of its earthly presence. Awakened, I become heart-light, lifted and wide-eyed at their perfection and find myself wearing a blushing pink splotch of joy upon sighting them.

I hunger for flowers more and more. The more I have them around the less I can live without them. I need not to receive them to adore them, I almost prefer to happen upon a lone rose in a stranger's front garden or catch a puff of hydrangea by the side of a church or even better, to buy them for myself and the happiness of my home.

*For clarification, I'm talking about skipping a meal, not a lifetime of starvation - if it came to that I would probably eat the flowers I'd sold the bread for. Also, the fact that none of the flowers in this post are hyacinths is (of course) irrelevant (and just a little bit unfortunate), the concept remains.

I have since discovered the origin of the Persian saying in this poem:

Not By Bread Alone
(White, 1907)

If thou of fortune be bereft,
And in thy store there be but two left
Two loaves-sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul


Catherine said...

Such lovely pictures - as always you are a breath of inspiration! Have a most wonderful weekend!

Anonymous said...

i love this post!

Unknown said...

Really, really beautiful.

Amanda (Small Acorns) said...

What a beautiful saying. I couldn't agree with you more in this post. I adore flowers and they are the treat that picks me up every time. Thanks for sharing this - a beautiful post.

Katherine said...

That's so pretty. I actually put the poem on my blog :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on leaving your job! I did it three years ago to pursue a personal passion -- I've never been broker and I've never been happier. The financial rewards are starting, while I'm creating something that people seem to want to buy. Best of luck.

Lindsey said...

Beautiful post.

*TODAY is the last day to enter my giveaway! Do so at

Jan said...

I am with you on this. There have been times when I've thought, forget the nailpolish, or coffee and cakes etc... I'll have the tulips, or whatever has made my heart skip at the flower stand.

Karon said...

Beautiful, you truly amaze me with your talent

CathyB said...

I so love - Not by Bread Alone
I will never be hungry if I can always feed my sould - I AGREE