On their way back home Zeke tells Casey something about his favourite flowers above all to cover up his nervousness. It was hard for him to concentrate with Casey’s hand on his knee and Casey’s head on his shoulder.
“Wanna know something about poinsettias?” Casey hmmm-ed and snuggled closer.
“ Dr. Joel Poinsett, who was the first ambassador to
The legend related to this favorite Christmas flower is Mexican too. However, there are two versions of the story. In one version, the two small children of the story are known as Maria and her little brother Pablo; while in another version, two cousins are mentioned by the names of Pepita and Pedro. Whatever be the names, the story goes like this:
There was once a brother-sister pair who was very poor. They lived in a village and they had barely enough to eat two full meals a day. As the Christmas time approached, festivities, parades and parties in the village attracted the children. The gaiety of the season in itself was quite charismatic. Moreover, a large manger scene was being set up in the village church and all the children were eager to go to Baby Jesus and give him the best present. Mario and Pablo also wanted to give expensive presents to the Holy Child that He will love. While all children were discussing, what they think is best for the baby and what they will buy as the gift for Him, Mario and Pablo knew that they had no money to buy the presents and had nothing that they could gift to the child.
Yet, they could not let go of the temptation to see the baby just once and give something to Him. On Christmas Eve, Maria and Pablo set out for church a little earlier than others to attend the service. Since they had nothing to give to the child, they thought of plucking some weeds that was growing along the roadside to make a soft bed for Baby Jesus and decorate his crib. While they were still decorating the crib of the Baby, other children also arrived. Now, children can be very cruel when it comes to teasing and making fun of others. Mario and Pablo were almost in tears for shame and helplessness when a miracle occurred. Suddenly, the weeds burst into bright red petals that looked like stars and were so beautiful that everyone was awed by their beauty. Everybody realized and said that a gift of love is dearer to Jesus than the most expensive presents that money could buy. Ever since then, Poinsettia flowers have become favorites for Christmas decorations.”
“What beautiful legends, Zeke. Go on, do you know more about the flowers of the holy night?”
Now it was on Zeke to smile – Casey was a good listener.
“Do you know there’s even “Poinsettia Day”?”
“Really? When is it ?
“It’s the 12th of December in remembrance and honor of the plant lover Poinsett. It’s tradition for people in the
“I never heard of this before. ”
“Ever since the mid-19th century, Poinsettia Day has been taken as an opportunity to show appreciation to loved ones. Unlike Valentine's Day, however, poinsettias and not flowers are given on Poinsettia Day.”
Casey kept quiet. “Maybe you could take some photos, Case. I’m sure you’ll be fascinated as much as I am. We can get them in a countless variety of shapes and colors, from the classic red to
The both drove in silence enjoying each others company – uneasiness was gone.
At Zeke’s home Casey managed to say “red. I only would like to get red ones.”
“Red is emotion pure, it’s vitality, the force of life. This color speaks to me of closeness, warmth and a pleasant atmosphere. Isn’t this color inseparable with all things festive and glittering?”
Casey understood as he always did. As soon as Zeke had put the flowers (he bought 7 of them) on the table Casey started to take pictures. “Wow. Zeke, look at this one – the leaves have a light touch of blue.” Zeke watched him intensely. Blue… ‘we always choose the shade of color that contributes to our own sense of harmony’ he thought when Casey said “I read somewhere that the bluish shade of red stands for controlled strength. It’s perfect for you, Zeke.”
How did he do this? Knowing him so well … “Casey…” Casey put his arms around him, looked at him only to get lost in Zeke’s heart and soul. “I still can’t believe it, Zeke. I’m so glad we visited Sam today. Without him and his remark …” Zeke giggled. “True. I’m sure I wouldn’t have said anything about it.” “About what?” Casey was teasing him? He wasn’t used to this kind of conversation.
“How did you know, Casey?” Before he could go on asking some more questions Casey kissed him again. This time long and deep, taking this breath away, making his knees wobble “Jesus… Casey…” The both laughed. “How did I know? You’re this special kind of person Zeke, you’re down-to-earth, warm-hearted, decent and sensitive – you couldn’t hide this to me. Whenever I’m close to you I feel so … safe and important, even witty, entertaining and profound. No, no… let me go on. You’re open-minded, active and energetic. And you have this special aura … I can’t explain it. I only know I fell in love with you last winter…”
Zeke didn’t know what to say. Casey knew his inner-self , he read him like a book since last winter. Last winter??!! “When did you … last winter… I mean…”
Casey giggled. “Come on, boy. I saw you walking down the road on a snowy evening when I looked out of my window and you had one red flower – I bet, no – now I know – it was one poinsettia, in your hands and though you didn’t see me, you didn’t talk to me – I felt close to you for the first time. You stopped, turned around, stopped again … I’m sure you felt something, too. Oh, I admired you at school, watched you secretly, wished you would take notice and I wished you wouldn’t…”
Zeke hugged him tight “hey, I’m glad it happened today on December 12th. I have a little gift for you…” with this he turned around, headed to the kitchen and handed a paper bag to Casey. When he looked at it he smiled … “Oh, I remember what you said earlier … Poinsettia Day has been taken as an opportunity to show appreciation to loved ones. “
They both were touched and very very happy. They’ll never forget December 12th, it will be Poinsettia day as well as their anniversary.
Happy Poinsettia Day my friends!