Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hyacinths and Second Pennies

"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.


Junebug said...

Beautiful. I had not heard that before. Happy all holidays to you too.

Pamela said...

what a lovely poem. I must copy and remember.

I do know that I love to close my eyes and let the drifting fragrance of hyacinth wrap me in sweetness and take away the aches and pains -- for the moment.

Ours of course are gone for the year.

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