Last year in the Spring I spent a great deal of time digging up the back yard of our house in Nashville. I’d decided that I would finally give gardening a try. Knowing little, knowing nothing and having only Google and the kindness of green thumb friends I dug up my yard; around the porch, near the fence, in the bare spots and the balding patches. I convinced the lawn guy to cut down a diseased shrub one day and spent the rest of the weekend pulling up the stump. It was therapy, deeply intensive therapy.
When the empty spot was finally tilled and filled with dirt I sat down on the porch to survey my work. I wanted a rosemary bush there. I found two rather large bushes sitting outside our local grocery store in the heat of the Spring day. They were strong and woody, ready for room to expand, ready for a place to lift their branches and reach to the skies.
They did very well over the course of the summer in that house. They did lift their branches to the skies. They did expand. In the mornings I would wander outside with my coffee and offer them water, rub their leaves so that I could remember throughout the day the simple fact that I’d done this. Rosemary means remembrance.
We moved away from that house in early September, up to the windy city of Chicago, into a loft style apartment on the second floor. No yard. No garden. No dirt.
This past week I finally remedied that, buying a topiary of rosemary for my deck. I had not realized how much I missed that early morning greeting, the moment of quiet on the porch, the wind whispering through the leaves, clothing itself with the perfume of rosemary, of remembrance.