Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Friendship, Fidelity, Faithfulness

In earlier blogging days, I explained my choice of title for this blog. Sometimes I think that maybe it's a bit long and cumbersome and hard to find. I was thinking of changing it. But then I decided to do a search on it and found that lots of you have linked to it already. And so I did another search on the symbolism of the ivy. And this is what I came up with: According to one website, ivy symbolizes memory, immortality, friendship, fidelity, faithfulness, undying affection, and eternal life. If any of you have ever tried to kill or remove Ivy from your garden, you know the tenacity with which it struggles to survive. You know that it clings to whatever it is growing with. Ivy is also used as a symbol on ancient gravestones to represent immortality.

According to this site:
Because it thrives in the shade, ivy represents debauchery, carousing, merrymaking, sensuality, the flourishing of hidden desires, and the enjoyment of secret or forbidden pleasures. Some even believed this plant to have demonic associations. Dionysus (a.k.a. Bacchus) the Greco-Roman god of wine, satyrs, and Sileni are often wreathed in ivy. Crowns of ivy were believed to prevent intoxication and thought to aid inspirational thinking. Therefore, the Greeks crowned their poets with wreaths of this plant. Although generally considered poisonous, the ivy's black berries were used to treat plague.

Hm. "Flourishing hidden desires?" "Forbidden pleasures." How can the symbolism be so dichotomous? Perhaps it is like everything else that God created for good. The world got a hold of it and turned it into something crude and evil. Whoever came up with that second explanation did not stop to consider that the shade the ivy thrives in is the shadow of the Almighty. And as long as you stay put where you were planted and cling to your committment to Him, you will break the yoke of bondage and sin in your life. And those hidden desires for forbidden pleasures become hidden under the blood of Christ.

Some hate ivy because it damages the walls or houses it climbs. Consider that maybe it was not meant to climb walls. Walls were introduced into its natural habitat. But trees... when Ivy climbs trees, it becomes a part of them. The ivy uses the tree for support, but it is not meant to be allowed to grow to the point that it overshadows the tree and kills it. Together they grow toward God. This site says: As long as it stay on the trunk of the tree it will not damage the tree. If it gets into the crown and the foliage it will kill the foliage and cause growth loss and could cause death. We need to learn our place under God. And I will go as far to say our place under our husband, to keep our marriages alive and thriving. That's a biggie for me, trying to stay where I'm supposed to stay and not tell God and my husband what I think they're supposed to be doing. Which poses a new question: Should my blog really be titled, "Under His Wings?" I'll have to roll that around in my brain a bit more.


MugwumpMom said...

Wow, all that about one plant? Who knew. Great post. Thanks.

Praying for your Prodigal said...

Just know--we will all go into our templates and make the change for YOU!

Really! Really? We're not suppose to tell God OR our husbands what we want them to do? Say it ain't so! :) My post today--is similar in context!


Karla said...

Wow. That's some deep stuff. I like it. I think I'll go with the "memory, immortality, friendship, fidelity, faithfulness, undying affection, and eternal life" info that you found. It makes more sense to me, and well -- I just don't like debauchery, carousing, merrymaking and all that stuff. =)
If you decide to change your blog name, that would be cool. I'd definitely keep up with you. =)

Overwhelmed! said...

I love your insight into ivy and I hope you don't change your blog name!

Shayne said...


Ouch! Staying under the umbrella of my husband's authority...that's a tough one. However, if I cling to him, then according to the analogy, the closer he gets to God, the closer I get to God. It's something to think about.

By the way, thank you for visiting my blog. Hope to see you again!

Praying for your Prodigal said...

I've started a party over at my blog--please come! Bring your party hat!


Morning Glory said...

I like your blog name. It conjures up thoughts of a cool resting place to sit and read. I don't think it's too long.

Barb said...

I will never look at ivy the same way again. I wouldn't change the name of this blog. Ever. It's perfect.

Susanne said...

When I think of ivy, I think of decorative and beautiful!