Then we lost Bubba. As a memorial to him, we decided to plant a garden with his grave. Now the rosemary had a spot and a purpose. It has flourished there, too, along with the beautiful hibiscus---golden, of course.
This year, so far, until today I have forgotten to buy rosemary. Another small fetch of irony. Or not. Perhaps I have let go of what I was trying to remember, or perhaps having finally succeeded at preserving a rosemary tree, I feel no need for another.
However, having now recalled its absence, I feel an urge to run find a place that is open today and get another little tree. The house doesn't seem to smell right without the pungent punch of rosemary accenting the fir and holly.
Rosemary is, after all, associated with Christmas, too:
Rosemary was used during the Middle Ages by housewives to spread on the floor at Christmas. As people walked on it, a pleasant aroma arose. Tradition has it that the shrub is fragrant because Mary laid the garments of the Christ Child on its branches. The night he was born, legend has it, the trees suddenly bore fruit and flowers blossomed out of season. Source: Santa's Net
Maybe I simply like the poetry, symbolism and history behind it.
I think Marianne Moore explains it best.
Beauty and Beauty's son and rosemary -
Venus and Love, her son, to speak plainly -
born of the sea supposedly,
at Christmas each, in company,
braids a garland of festivity.
Not always rosemary -
since the flight to Egypt, blooming indifferently.
With lancelike leaf, green but silver underneath,
its flowers - white originally -
turned blue. The herb of memory,
imitating the blue robe of Mary,
is not too legendary
to flower both as symbol and as pungency.
Springing from stones beside the sea,
the height of Christ when he was thirty-three,
it feeds on dew and to the bee
"hath a dumb language;" is in reality
a kind of Christmas tree.
The more I read this poem, the more layers I find. It's brilliant---absolutely a brilliant and amazing weaving of legend, myth and the Christmas story and tradition.
And a happy time---whatever this time is for you, holiday of one sort or another, or not---may this be for you.
If it is Christmas for you, a very Merry Christmas to you.
Copyright 2007 Julie Pippert
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