By Joyce Mason
Think of the wide-eyed wonder of a child, nose pressed to the window of FAO Schwarz when the coolest, newest Christmas toys are on full display... or a three-year-old, padding down the steps in her jammies with feet, eyes and mouth wide open as she gapes at everything Santa has brought her. Think of "Joy to the World," and the child who changed it forever.
"Christmas is for kids," we often hear, and that expression may be our first hint why this summer flower is so perfect for that wonderful time of year -- and an antidote to the winter blues. The origin of most holiday depression is either: (1) the loss of happy childhood times, when the family was together, while our selective memory paints our parents as Ozzie and Harriet; or (2) the loss of the happy childhood we never had, intensified by a marketing blitz of that ideal everywhere we look. Either way, the holidays can bring a profound sense of loss, just when love, giving, and merrymaking are the mantra... not to mention nostalgia.
Numerous resources on flower lore connect Zinnia with thoughts of absent friends. This makes me think of the traditional New Year's carol, Auld Lang Syne. (Should olde acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?) This essence makes you want to gather with those near and dear, throw confetti, and toast life with an endless glass of champagne. Its very essence is bubbly.
Zinnia by itself is a giggle. It can lighten up the most dedicated workaholic and bring out all the best qualities of childhood -- I daresay in Scrooge himself -- seeing the world with wonder, awe, and its limitless possibility. It is an attitude adjuster of the most upbeat kind. It bolsters creativity, which children live for. (Think of how that can help you find and buy the perfect gifts and present them with a flair.) Unless or until it is socialized out of them, children ask for what they want (and ask 1001 questions while they're at it). Zinnia replaces shyness with healthy curiosity and intimidation with speaking up. (Think of how that will influence what you get for Christmas when you have no compunction about asking for it!)
That said, I like Zinnia best blended. During winter, when all those feelings of loss are stirred up, Mariposa Lily is a wonderful complement (mother love in a bottle). When your mom is no longer with you in body, "Motherposa Lily" recreates that warm sense of being nurtured from the inside out. And if the bustle of the holidays overwhelms you, drop in some Dill to help digest the sensory overload of lights, tinsel, carols, and parties everywhere. If you're more an introvert than an extrovert, which simply means you charge your batteries best alone in a quiet serene setting versus boogying on the town, consider adding Yarrow. It will create a protective bubble around yourself and keep you from feeling drained by the crowds and festivities. If you get the blues and get 'em bad, don't hesitate to blend it with other essences that address depression, like Borage, Baby Blue Eyes, Elm, or Gorse. Zinnia lightens up, like all those garlands of colored lights on the landscape, and it can be the perfect toner with some of the remedies for heavier issues.
Zinnia is a summer flower whose color palette is primarily warm spring colors with just a hint of autumn... and as we can see, it could almost replace poinsettias as the winter flower, if it would only grow in snow! These actual and figurative links with all four seasons speak to the versatility of this colorful, happy flower and the joy it brings that knows no season (or particular winter holiday. It works equally well for Chanukah, Winter Solstice, and Kwanzaa).
Last but not least, Zinnia makes you laugh. That's good any time of year. Ho ho ho!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joyce Mason is a frequent contributor to Vibration Magazine. To find out more about her and to read her articles from this ezine, click here.
Art Credits: Art Today.