Tuesday, October 15, 2013
The Cherokee Rose and the Trail of Tears
The Cherokee became so sad that, one night, the elders gathered around the campfire to call upon ga lv la di e, the Heaven Dweller, and to tell of how they were suffering. They were afraid the children would not survive to rebuild the Cherokee Nation.
The Heaven Dweller told them he would give them a sign of encouragement. He said that the next morning the women were to look back at the trail where their tears had fallen. He would cause a plant with seven leaves to grow.
The seven leaves represented the seven Cherokee clans. The plant would have a white rose with five petals. The center would be a pile of gold representing the white man’s greed for the gold found on Cherokee lands.
The next morning, the women looked back at their trail and watched the blossoms forming. They forgot their sadness and regained their confidence and courage to protect the children who would build a new nation in the West.
In 1916, with the support of the Georgia Federation of Women's Clubs, the Cherokee Rose was named the state's floral emblem. It is an evergreen climbing shrub, scrambling over other shrubs and small trees to heights of up to 16–33 ft. The flower is white with a large golden center. Blooming time is in the early spring, but favorable conditions will produce, in the fall of the year, a second flowering of this hardy plant.
Susan F. Craft is an inspirational historical fiction writer with a novel, The Chamomile, released in November 2011. The Chamomile won the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance coveted Okra Pick. Susan is represented by Hartline Literary Agency