Saturday, February 25, 2012

"I saw that everything within my view which ought to be white, had been white long ago, and had lost its luster, and was faded and yellow." ~ Pip, from "Great Expectations"

Whenever I look at the Spanish Moss, which adorns many of the trees that are not palm here in St. Petersburg, I always think of Miss Havisham from Charles Dickens' Great Expectations.  Once white, now a faded yellow - very mysterious and mystical and a little eerie.  But I do find Spanish Moss to be very, very beautiful.  When the sun is shimmering through it, it almost feels like a fairy world.

          There is a legend about the origins of Spanish Moss, as told by storyteller, Mike Miller.

A Spanish soldier fell in love at first sight with an Indian chief's favorite daughter. Though the
chieftain forbade the couple to see each other, the Spaniard was too lovestruck to stop meeting the
maiden in secret. The father found them out and ordered his braves to tie the Spaniard high up in
the top of an ancient oak tree.

The Spaniard had only to disavow his love to be freed, but he steadfastly refused. Guards were
posted to keep anyone -- the chief's daughter above all --from giving food or water to the
poor Spaniard. The Spaniard grew weaker and weaker, but he still would not renounce his
love for the girl.

Near the end, the Chief tried to persuade him once more to stay away from his daughter. The Spaniard
answered that not only would he refuse to disavow his love, but that his love would continue to grow
even after death. When at last the Spaniard died the chief kept the body tied up in the tree as a
warning to any other would-be suitors.
Before long, the Indians began to notice that the Spaniard's beard continued to grow. The Indian
maiden refused ever to take a husband -- unless the Spaniard's beard died and vanished from the
tree. As the years went by, the beard only grew stronger and longer, covering trees far from the
Indian maiden's village. Legend says that when the Spanish Moss is gone, the Spaniard's love will
have finally died with it.

~ It is so beautiful ~


  1. Yes, it is so beautiful, and so is that story! Thanks for taking the time to share it here.