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Bluebells & Leaplings

Whether you’re walking home along the Water of Leith, or round the back of Arthur’s Seat, the later afternoon light now lingers longer.  The early birds are building their nests and the sun begins to tease us with hints of warmth.  Weeds surface through cracks in the pavements, out the mortar of old stone walls and in graveyards not tended – a haven for both new life and the dead of old. 

Early weeds like dandelions, bountiful and strong, are a lifeline for the city-dwelling bees and pollinators, bringing forth the first nectar of Spring.

royal mile silver - scottish flower dandelion earrings
Scottish Dandelion Flower Earrings 

Edinburgh, a city of ancient buildings encircled by wild and green spaces, welcomes Spring with a gentle reluctance, the wind is still harsh though the colours are unfolding.  Flower necklaces shimmer in the sun, now that scarves have loosened their grip. 

Spring is in the air – and underfoot, where Bluebells dwell in established woodlands and under clusters of old broadleaved trees – such as Oak, Hazel and Ash.  A dreamy blue carpets ancient woods brings the forest floor to life.  The soothing hue of Bluebells, along with the ascending light of spring, are known to lift mood, calm the spirit and awaken the senses.  Blue is the colour of peace and tranquillity, truth and stability, intuition and freedom.  Local folklore says one should wear a choker necklace of Bluebells to speak the truth. 

Native to Scotland, Bluebells dwell in and around Edinburgh, spending most of the year as bulbs underground in ancient woods, waiting patiently for spring to arrive.  Bluebells symbolise gratitude, humility, everlasting love and constancy.  These ethereal bell-shaped flowers were thought to have bestowed intuitive powers and were sometimes known as Witches Thimble.  If you see a patch of Bluebells, those trees under which they grow, have likely been there continuously for hundreds of years – new life in the ground of old.  

Flower necklaces shimmer in the sun, now that scarves have loosened their grip. 
Layered Necklaces from our Designer Silver with Gold Collection

After a long, dark winter, Edinburgh in Spring is latent with promise and potential.  Woolly hats are almost off, your earrings won’t get lost, and we have an extra day to savour this spring.  An extra day this Leap Year to sit with yourself or someone you love, to let go of old woes or foes, and maybe treat yourself to a pendant necklace to mark a new chapter in your life.

Or perhaps this is the day to take a risk, to leap into the void.  People born on the 29th of February are known as Leaplings.  In Scotland, it was considered unlucky to be born on this day, though it’s unclear as to why a ‘Leap year was ne’er a good sheep year’.  In Ireland however, St. Brigid saw this day as an opportunity for women to take charge of their fates.

Legend has it that the Celtic Goddess of Imbolc incarnate Saint Brigid of Kildare, thought too many women had to wait too long for a proposal. She agreed with Saint Patrick that women could propose every four years on the 29th of February, known as Ladies’ Privilege.  Many a silver ring will have been offered by women to their loves over the years. In past times if the man refused, by law, he would have to buy his lady 12 sets of gloves, so that she could hide the shame of not yet being married.

Now we follow the Leap Year to keep the Gregorian calendar aligned with the astronomical or seasonal year.  Ancient Celtic traditions and festivals follow the astronomical calendar, as does Easter or Ostara, which is why it falls on a different day each year.

So with this extra day we have in 2024, a day out of time, why not go and find the Bluebells – deep in the old woods, anew with life.

Royal Mile Silver - St Brigid's Cross Stud Earrings
St Brigid’s Cross Silver Stud Earrings
Royal Mile Silver - Scottish bluebell handcrafted brushed sterling silver earrings
Royal Mile Silver - Scottish bluebell handcrafted brushed sterling silver pendant
Royal Mile Silver - Scottish bluebell handcrafted brushed sterling silver necklace

Previous: Imbolc Festival

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