My greatest pleasure is to come home… home is in Cyprus, a million miles in mindset away from the big Dubai city in terms of pace, progress and landscape and of course heat. Cyprus has its own special pace, the nation has been struggling through a turbulent period of ups and downs since it’s foray into the world of the EU and is still a divided island since the 1974 invasion.
Home is a village house in a small village outside Paphos, sleepy in winter and summer alike. Blue, blue skies most of the time, miss this clarity of scenery in the Middle East, with sand in every bit of the atmosphere. It is a different beauty on this island of extremes, snow-covered mountains in the winter, skiing in the Troodos mountains in the morning and swimming in the afternoon… or so the tourist promotions advertise… I’m not hardy enough for those forays.
During the winter months little cyclamen poke up in every corner of my garden.
A fragile beauty, small stem and pale pink petals fluttering in the breeze, but year in, year out they are back, resilient to the summer heat and impervious to the winter cold. After flowering, the seed pods split and tiny seeds scatter. Every winter I find new plants, making their way towards the sun, between cracks and corners.
In 2006 the endemic Cyprus cyclamen (Cyclamen cyprium Kotschy), was designated as the national plant of Cyprus by the decision of the Council of Ministers of the Republic.
Mikis Theodorakis, Greece’s best known living composer (Remember “Zorba the Greek” music..he wrote it) devoted a song to this fragile little plant. Kyklamino- Mikis Theodorakis
Growing all around the island, images and the name represented in restaurants, on mosaics, decorating pottery, featuring in art-work, the Cyclamen is there…the small floral treasure of Cyprus.
Bits and bobs :
In antiquity, the cyclamen was recognised for its therapeutic virtues, due to the presence of cyclamine, a bitter substance with purgative powers. It is a basic remedy in homoeopathy for depression, hidden sorrows, or when one is turned in on oneself.
In the language of love, giving a cyclamen expresses sincere feelings. It is a plant of lasting feelings and sincere affection. Thanks to its tuber, which allows it to withstand difficult conditions, the cyclamen is the flower of deep love. In the language of flowers, giving someone a cyclamen expresses love and sincere tenderness.
Cyclamen, from the Greek kuklos. Its name, which for once is identical in Latin and English, is transcribed from the Greek word kuklaminos, derived from kuklos, meaning “circle”: it refers to the round and flattened shape of its tuber.