If you look at a pansy you can see why they are called dragons in other cultures. And yet, our interpretation of them as gentle and happy is fairly easy to see as well. Ah, metaphors, they work in so many ways!
As I was writing (once I got past the pansy glow in this shot — Deb Slade caught something amazing, didn’t she?), I realized how much I liked the combined possibility of these two seemingly opposite characteristics, realized that I’d liked it for a long time when I remembered that I’d exhorted wedding couples to “love one another with a fierce and passionate tenderness.” hmmm, wonder why i stopped — does it perhaps get too carnal for comfort?
There they are, every spring, fierce and passionately tender pansies, bringing the world Peace with everything that’s in them. They look so fragile, but like yesterday’s daff, they’re pretty hardy… they persevere through the cold to fill us with delight and color. What a notion, sticking to the one thing you do and doing it well.
So now whenever i see a bunch of pansies, when I think “sweet” or “whimsical,” I’ll also think “fierce” and that will make me giggle with delight. An elite troop of Peace-warriors, right there in our gardens, sort of the terra cotta troops of the plant world. Yay! You go, little warrior pansies! Bring on the Peace.