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Lily of the Valley

Lily of the ValleyOne of the few flowers I remember so distinctly from my childhood is now appearing at my doorstep, clouds of rich, sweet scent enveloping me as I enter. I remember these exquisitely simple little bell-shaped blossoms in sprays growing close to the little parsonage we lived in when I was 7 years old and enchanted by anything tiny enough to fit into my homemade dollhouse. Now as I bring the blossoms close to my nose, the scent evokes the moment I first kissed the head of my new baby son 34 years ago. All anguish, doubt, despair and cynicism melt into the sweet opening of heart that a new baby brings.

In the language of flowers Lily of the Valley represents the return of happiness, and in other traditions it is considered to represent the return of Christ or the vision of a better world.

Lily of the Valley can be particularly helpful in chronic cases of congestive heart failure by increasing heart efficiency, stroke volume, decreasing arrhythmia and edema. Lily of the valley contains cardiac glycosides similar to those found in foxglove (the source of digoxin), but not quite as toxic because it does not accumulate in the body as digoxin does. However, it is still a powerful and potentially dangerous medicine if not used carefully.

Perfumers have tried for millenia to capture the scent of Lily of the Valley, failed and settled for synthetic versions instead. Present-moment living is like that, too. You cannot capture it or bottle it, only experience it in the moment.

Lily of the Valley restores a failing heart, by evoking sweetness and simple happiness of living in the moment.

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