Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Rosemary and Me
I gave her a home in a new pot, a fine terra cotta one, large enough for her to stretch and put down roots. I fed and sheltered her and she responded by growing and growing. Like the tree in Shel Silverstein’s book, The Giving Tree, Rosemary kept giving me fragrant sprigs for soups, stews, and grilling. I could almost see her quiver with joy as I snipped a tip here and there. She’d often produce new sprigs and I’d smile.
Fall came in all its vibrancy and frosted mornings. Rosemary stood chilled in her home in the middle of the old wagon wheel herb garden. I brought her in to warm her, but it was too late. My ignorance and the chill of autumn brought about her demise. That winter, I was without Rosemary.
Spring dawns anew and back I went to my favorite shop and found a more grown-up Rosemary enticing me with her piney fragrance. She flourished inside a huge terra cotta pot, anxious to fill the curved bottom. Again, the always-giving Rosemary showered me with sprigs for the kitchen, sprigs for bouquets, and filling my world with the remembrance of all things green and growing. Before leaves turned red, gold, and orange, Rosemary relocated inside the shop. She had grown to massive proportions during the summer and looked like a shrub perched on a large pot.
One day in December, gentle Rosemary gave up her long, needled stems to me. I gathered the bouquet in my hand tying a pink satin ribbon around the stems. I grasped the Rosemary bouquet tightly in my hand as I listened to the soothing words that told of quilts made, children loved, and a husband left behind to carry on. My daughter tenderly placed the beribboned rosemary bouquet next to my mom as I whispered a final good-bye. Rosemary, the herb of rembrance, was my mother’s favorite herb.
Throughout the years, Rosemary took the form of standards, triangular trees reminiscent of Christmas, and potted plants of all sizes. Until life took a turn and Rosemary was relegated to the dusty cobwebs of a former life.
The spring of 2009, I brought home Rosemary, once again. She grew outside all summer, content in her new clay pot. She grew taller and more beautiful. Fall came and it was time to bring in my darling of the plant world. At first, she dropped her needles, missing the sunshine that warmed her from the tips of her roots to the end of the top most tip. The memories of summer kept her fighting, reaching for the light, until one day there it was…new growth on the tip-toppiest sprig. Rosemary cradles babies up and down her branches, delicate green promises growing in the winter sun that shines through the window. And the lady was happy.