I love visiting your beautiful blog. Thank you for hosting me today, Beth, as I talk of old trees that intrigue me.
Some of the oldest trees in the world are:
Promotheus tree in the Grand Basin National Park, Nevada.
St Augustine: oldest magnolias trees, 600 years-old, its bark and hardwood filigree are used to make pendants.
We traveled by catamaran to the island of Pralin and trudged through the Valley of May, a dense forest where hordes of mosquitoes feasted on our legs and arms. But we kept on treading uphill to photograph the huge trees, called Coco-de-Mer, or sea-Coco, and their unusual fruits. The trees are either male or female. The male blossom brings to mind a big virile male member, and the female nut looks like a female pubis.
The Virgin Tree in Mataria, Egypt: One of the oldest trees in the world is the highly regarded “Virgin’s Tree” at Mataria, in the outskirts of Cairo, that is said to have offered shelter to the Holy Family during their sojourn in Egypt. There is another tree next to it believed to be as old, but the Virgin’s Tree still carries foliage while the other has no leaves at all.
Pilgrims frequently visit the Virgin’s Tree and ask for miracles. Women hoping to conceive encircle the tree seven times. Sick people claim to have been cured of cancer and other diseases when they came to pray at the tree. There are many poignant stories associated with this tree. When a soldier was ordered to destroy it and cut a branch from the tree, blood came out.
The village of Mataria enjoyed great popularity among pilgrims from the Holy Land. It was regarded as a blessed place and leaves of the balsam were believed to have medicinal properties. Inevitably pilgrims began to deplete the foliage, even stripping the bark of the trees, which, it was rumored, provided healing balm when boiled.
In the 15th century a charge was collected to allow visit to the garden.. A Dominican monk, Felix Fabri, wrote that a fence was erected around the tree (which he referred to as a fig tree with a hollow trunk, in which there was a small chapel and two lamps) to restrict pilgrims to the sacred enclosure to four at any one time.
Today’s Christian Coptics who make pilgrimage to the Virgin’s Tree at Mataria point to a new miracle — a faint image of the Virgin and Child has appeared on the bark of the venerable tree.~
*Fascinating. I had no idea. And now, onto Mona’s wonderful stories.
An American Pediatrician
A Russian Surgeon
A woman who lost a son and her illusions about marriage and family.
A man with four adorable sons who badly need a mother
Can attraction and love overcome guilt, duty, and a clash of cultures?
“Mona Risk writes heroes with heart, heroines with spunk in stories and settings that are simply unforgettable!” — Roxanne St. Claire, Killer Curves, National Bestseller.
Jillian approached the hospital bed and rotated the handle. A metallic screech filled the silence. Damn bed. Fyodor hoped she didn’t notice his blush as she played with the handle. Why did he feel as if he must pass a test? It wouldn’t have bothered him to admit weakness in front of an older colleague.
“I’ll add automated beds to the list of equipment to be shipped to your hospital,” she said, her tone calm, revealing no arrogance or criticism. “Dr. Vassilov, I’ll do my best to modernize the place while I’m here.”
“Spacibo bolchoy. Thank you so much.” He wanted to hug her, kiss her, tell her he was happy she wasn’t the well-aged expert his government had promised as visiting physician. If she conducted business in this highly professional manner, it would be a daily pleasure to work with her.
He studied her oval-shaped face with its serious expression and lingered on her high cheekbones, delicate straight nose, and the chocolate brown strands that curled on her shoulders. A daily pleasure indeed.
Her eyes widened as she leveled a business look at him and dug two white teeth into her lower lip. “If there are things you specifically need from me, don’t hesitate to ask.”
“I will keep your offer in mind. Spacibo bolchoy, Jillian.” His gaze swung to her delectable mouth. “I hope I may call you by your given name?”
She nodded and smiled. “Of course, Fyodor. No need to be formal when we’re going to work together for six months.”
He liked the way his name trailed on her lips. Fy-o-dor. Like honey. Her accent glided over his skin, caressed his heart, and stirred a desire he thought he had well under control.
Nyet. Stop there, Fyodor. His smile of admiration faded.
The lovely American was out of reach as far as he was concerned. He had an altogether different mission, a father’s duty to find a good mother for his children. A well-disciplined officer and doctor, he always performed his duty, no matter what it cost. His glance swayed toward Jillian. The cost of performing his duty was escalating by the minute. Regret knifed through him, and he repressed a sigh.~
BABIES IN THE BARGAIN winner of 2009 Best Romance Novel at Preditors & Editors and winner of 2009 Best Contemporary Romance at Readers Favorite.
Rx FOR TRUST, winner of 2010 Best Contemporary Romance at Readers Favorite and 2011 EPICON.
Rx IN RUSSIAN just released by TWRP
All books available at The Wild Rose Press, Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com