Aija Silina | All Things Latvian
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All Things Latvian

November 1, 2016

All things Latvian.

November, 2016. gada 1. Novembris

My grandmother Anna Berkmane was my real time mom bringing me up day to day, as my mom was busy getting her PhD in Math, teaching architects and engineers how to be amazing at what they do, failing most of them during the finals with the most finesse and class.  While my mom was busy in academics, my grandomther was the one who loved me unconditionally, didn’t scold me for not practicing violin, and she was the one who taught me everything I know about botany and healing plants, alternative medicine, higher power, energies, and most importantly – love and the importance of giving unconditionally.

She had many old wives tales she taught me, but for the month of November the one I loved the most was this:

Since there are only 30 days in the month of November, after bath in your night gown on November 30th, you sneak out of the house – and typically the ground is nearly frozen and it is wicked cold outside (the “wicked” cold comes from spending most of my American life in Boston), and as you are freezing your butt off, you cut off 3 branches from a cherry tree. Assuming, that,of course,in Latvia, every garden has at least one cherry tree. So you bring these three cherry tree branches inside, set them in water next to your bed, and you quietly 3 times say the following rhyme:

‘Mīļo Andrej, paklausies,

Kā es tevim vēlējos,

Parādi man mīļāko,’

Paša dieva vēlēto’.

Translation: November 30th is the day of St. Andrew, so the rhyme says : Dear Andrew, listen to me as I wish, show me in my dream the one for me chosen by God’.

After this, you don’t speak to anyone and go to bed. Who ever is the man you see in your dreams that night will be then your husband.

But that’s not it! If the cherry tree blooms by Xmas it will be true, if not… well, there is another year to try.

Did it work for me? That’s another story.

I am also somewhat of a nerd and my question has always been: well, can a cherry tree cut in November bloom by xmas? And that, my friends, I can answer with a confident YES. Botany does what it does. Our wishes, however… if you leave them up to nature – you better think and wish very carefully on that November 30th.

I wish you all the best of luck in love :-)