"If, of thy mortal goods, thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store
two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one & from the dole,
Buy Hyacinths to feed the soul"
- Muslihuddin Sadi, 13th Century Persian Poet
The Fun Monday assignment for May 18, involving pampering, reminded me of this poem. I first heard of "hyacinths" when I was a young mother and often used this as a rationalization for those small pleasures that made life so liveable. I still do.
In another version of this, a young couple has but two pennies to their name. They use the one to buy bread and the second to buy hyacinths for their soul. I love the second penny analogy.
I once heard of a couple who named their pleasure boat "The Second Penny". I knew instantly what that boat meant to them.
I have told this story to my children and around my children for all of their lives. My youngest and I occasionally do exceptionally whimsical things in the name of "hyacinths for our souls". It is nice to remember to breathe and to remember that pampering yourself does not necessarily involve a great deal of time or money. It mostly just involves remembering to do it.