Monday, March 9, 2009

Anemones live on

The anemones are growing everywhere. On and even in the ancient terrace walls,

on the hillside down in the woods,

and by the trail marker.

Kalaniot they are called in Hebrew. It is hard for an Israeli to see this flower without starting to hum or sing the song "Kalaniot." It has even been called Israel's unofficial national anthem.
It was born in our pre-State days and has remained a classic. The verses progress from a little girl gathering anemones to a young lady to a grandmother. You can read the lyrics here. The concluding verse (better-sounding in Hebrew) says:

Yes, generations come and pass without end
but each generation has an anemone in a tune.
Happy is the man if between storms and thunder
an anemone bloomed for him, if only just once.


"Kalaniot" was made famous by Shoshana Damari. You can hear her singing it here. She has been likened to Edith Piaf. Our "queen of Israeli song" died on February 14,  2006.
In Tel Aviv recently I wandered through the historic Trumpeldor cemetery in the middle of the metropolis. I noticed an unusual grave, went over to read it, and was moved to find that it was the final resting place of Shoshana Damari.
Beneath her name on the headstone is written, simply, "Anemones will always bloom."


Tranquility said...

What a gorgeous flower! Beautiful photos - thanks for sharing!

Louise said...

As usual, something so interesting that I have never seen before. The flowers are beautiful.

SandyCarlson said...

Ours are so much smaller! These are gorgeous. Thanks, Dina.

JoAnn's-D-Eyes said...

Thank you Dina,
for your interesting lecture and I Love your flowers! Shalome to you too!

Its SPRING in Holland an I want to share that with you with some GREAT type of H.....? come and see be welcome here:
Bye! Greetings from JOANN

Anonymous said...

Very interesting post. Thanks for sharing.

Janie said...

I've grown anemones in my garden but never realized they were Israel's special flower.
How beautiful to see it growing in ancient, sacred lands.

The Good Life in Virginia said...

the music is almost haunting...i like her voice and the melody is beautiful.

and it is interesting that you would come upon her gravestone.

the anemone(s) are beautiful :)
have a wonderful week dina.


Katney said...

At Mt. Rainier we have the Western Anenome, which is a creamy white blossom. I can see a glimpse of the leaves of your red ones, and know that it is a related plant. I don't know if I have ever posted a picture of the Western Anenome in bloom, jsut in the seed pod stage in my first ABC Wednesday post over a year ago. Part of our jobs as National Park Volunteers in the summer is educating the public about protecting the wildflowers in the mountain meadows. Do not pick them and "Don't be a meadow stomper."

Jew Wishes said...

Lovely photos! The flower is so vibrant!

Bestemor Aud said...

Me and my husband had a wonderful walk in Jerusalem Forest when we were in Israel 2007. Took many pictures of anemones and cyclamens among others - they are so beautiful!
And what a pleasure to listen to that song - a very special singer too!

Gaelyn said...

How moving. A wonderful post. This is a very special part of your world. Thanks for sharing.
As a Park Ranger I often have to remind hikers not to pick the wildflowers.

Jeannelle said...

Beautiful scenes! Interesting story. What a wonderful serendipity that you happened to find the singer's grave. Happy Travels.

Indrani said...

Unique story from your place, very interesting and different. Such lovely flowers!

Suzanne Casamento said...

That's lovely. Thank you for informing us about anenomes and the preservation of wildflowers in your area.

Lilli & Nevada said...

I love wildflowers

Pat - Arkansas said...

An interesting post, Dina. Question: is there some significance to the pebbles placed on and around Shoshana Damari's gravestone? (I thought the inscription quite touching.)

Petrea said...

Lovely flowers, lovely post.

J said...

Fascinating, I never knew that anemones (have I spelt that right?) were so important in Israel.

Kay said...

Those anemones are really strikingly gorgeous. It would be hard to resist picking them.

Catherine said...

What a wonderful story of your world, Dina.
I love these wild flowers and I find them so more beautiful in their environement than in a vase.
I like to see they grow in "impossible" places, from under a stone for instance.

At first sight, I thought they were poppies.

Sreisaat said...

They are beautiful flowers! We do not have that kind here. Thanks for sharing.

Inside Cambodia

Jedediah said...

Beautiful pictures and interesting post.

Jacqueline said...

My 6yr old daughter just saw your photo of the sun setting and said, "wow that's beautiful where is it?" When I told her she said, "that's where God was born", and ran to call her brother to have a look.

Lovely flowers, thanks.

Jeannette St.G. said...

Has been a long time since I've seen anemones (I'm Dutch, but live in Los Angeles) - it makes the landscape so pleasant to see flowers everywhere groing in the wild! Thank you for shaing

ascu75 aka Don said...

i AM LISTENING AS i TYPE THANKS FOR SHARING oops sorry such a strong voice XXX Don

Dina said...

Shalom dear readers. Thanks for all you've taught me in your comments.
There is a beautiful blog devoted to Israel's flowers here:

Bestemor Aud, glad you were here. The Jerusalem Forest is what I see from my window.

Pat, Jews put a little pebble on a grave as a sign of respect and love.

Jacqueline, oh so sweet! That's what makes blogging worthwhile, to hear thoughts like this.