Ring of Seasons by JoAnn Drasnin

The Ring of Seasons is an original art work commissioned by Bill and Caroline Trapp to celebrate their 18th wedding anniversary. It is displayed here with their permission. A complete description follows the image below. Rollover the image below to see the image without the text. You may purchase the Ring of Seasons without text from cafepress.com by clicking the image below. Or you may contact the artist to commission an original work using any text you choose.

Ring of Seasons

Description of the Ring of Seasons
(from a letter to Bill and Caroline Trapp from JoAnn Drasnin)

Congratulations on your 18th (Chai) wedding anniversary! May this be only the start of your life together.

The 2 concentric gold circles represent your 2 gold wedding bands, one lovingly enveloped by the other. You have successfully completed 18 revolutions of the 12 months depicted here on this wheel of seasons. Therefore there are 18 items represented , plus ( as with birthday candles , ) one for good luck.

December: A brave, lone, beautiful pine tree for those inevitable lonely moments our souls face, when we stand in the bitter cold, facing (January) a mountain of challenge, only to feel the warmth of light as we successfully scale the mountain. February: A Valentine's heart shaped Anthurium greets you with love as we pass the mid-way mark of winter. March: Four Bright Crocuses herald the coming of spring, and with it, rebirth. What better time to celebrate the addition of your two sons to your union, shown as four flowers clustered together, your completed family. ( 7 items )

April: Your family would not be fairly represented without some member of the animal kingdom, hence the happy robin, Michigan's state bird, as you met, courted, married and are raising your family here. The robin returns to nest in the same spot every year, a symbol of the continuity of your home together through the years. It is the first bird to return in the spring and the last to leave in the fall. Robins are known to be friendly, and their love song is described as sounding like, "cheerily, cheerily, cheerily." May the music played by Bill and the boys be as warmly received. The Talmud describes the bird as a symbol for peace, not only due to Noah's dove returning with the olive branch, but also because the bird is the only creature that can exist in water, land, & sky. It freely moves among 3 totally different environments, feeding, nesting, traveling. Birds can even sleep in flight. The bird is therefore the most evolved symbol of peace in the home (Shalom Bayit) of a relationship that is fluid, accommodating, and all encompassing.

May brings to bloom the perky Corn Cockle (Agrostemma), with its bud promising future blossoms, a blessing to you to always look forward to even more happiness. June & July give us the Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)& Purple Cone Flower (Echinacea) which are closely related & often planted together, as they fit so well in partnership in a garden; a blessing for your union in the garden of life, as your anniversary month approaches. Echinacea is also widely used in preventative healing, a reference to Caroline's life's work.

August, your anniversary month is represented by the huge Sunflower, with its bounty of seeds. May your good deeds be as numerous, and more. "Chai" (18) is encircled by the sunflower's center, a model of the larger ring.

September brings us to Autumn, to the start of the new school year, to Rosh Hashana. The sweet, round (vegan) apple symbolizes a sweet, full, round year ahead. It is a time of harvesting and of apple picking.

October is displayed as four brilliantly colored fall leaves, symbolizing the maturity, depth and richness brought to your family by your two sets of parents and their own long happy marriages. (17 items)

We conclude with November reaching forward to December: A shimmering, snowflake/star shining bright against the deepest night. A sign of hope and beauty as night transitions to day once again. Eighteen (Chai) full years of LIFE, in all its vibrancy. L'Chaim, To Life..

And the 19th item? The tiny bee, which visits our Succah every fall, a sign of both the bitter and the sweet in life: the stinger and the honey, from the beloved Israeli folk song, "On All These Things" (Al Kol Eleh.) May the stings be minuscule and fleeting, and May your lives together overflow with Rice Milk and Honey.

Ani L'Dodi V'Dodi Li, I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine, is from the biblical text, The Song of Songs (Shir HaShirim,) ascribed to King Solomon, traditionally said to be the wisest of all men to ever live.

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