Thursday, February 07, 2008

Heliconia rostrata - Crab Claw

When I was a child, Chinese New Year was a time like no other time in the year. The main difference was that we had firecrackers. No day in the year sounds like those 15 days of Chinese New Year. Today, Chinese New Year sounds exactly like any other day because there are no firecrackers anymore. As I was looking for photos of flowers for today's post, I came across these brilliant blooms of the Heliconia rostrata taken at the Singapore Botanic Gardens a few months ago and I am reminded of those firecrackers of my childhood.
I recall that when times were good, my father and the neighbours would buy strings of bright red firecrackers, hung them at the doorway and at an auspicous time on either the first or second day of Chinese New Year light the fuse with a joss stick and we would all cover our ears in anticipation of the deafening noise that was to come.
I have seen these heliconia flowers countless times but this is the first time that I see the resemblance to firecrackers.
It must be nostalgia or just the thought that somehow Chinese New Year has lost its significance. We just do the same things we do at other times of the year only that we do it more intensely - shopping, eating, merry-making but mostly eating and spending money like there is no tomorrow.
That's why I like to look at flowers. They never change in their beauty and their mission.
Every part is wonderful and every part knows its rightful place and respects the rightful place of others.

Family : Heliconiaceae

Origin : Peru, Ecuador

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