Recently, rosemary, the herb, has played a starring role in my blog, and in my home life. Almost every day, during the past fortnight, I have made an infusion of rosemary leaves and flowers, and the scent has permeated my workspace aka the kitchen 🙂 The fragrance is swoon-worthy but ,of course, swooning in the kitchen would be dangerous, so I resist the temptation and sit sensibly at my bench top laptop instead. Now, as you may or may not remember, rosemary is a symbol for remembrance. But, even more interestingly, the aroma of rosemary is believed to enhance memory and brain function. It’s true; the Huffington Post says so ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/27/rosemary-brain-memory-18-cineole_n_1304250.html ) Perhaps, then, it was my daily inhalation of rosemary essences that made my brain suddenly take a little leap and twirl and prance off down memory lane, to the time where my life long love of rosemary began. Strangely though, my love for rosemary began not with the herb but with the name, Rosemary.
Many decades ago, near the beginning of my life, I was given guardianship of a large baby doll which had belonged to my aunt, and, later, to my mother. The doll came to me from my aunt’s home, complete with beautiful clothes, bed-clothes and a white pram large enough for a real baby. I can not remember if she came with a name (obviously insufficient rosemary chemicals in my blood stream) but I do remember my very solemn decision to christen this precious family treasure, Rosemary. Why Rosemary? I have no idea; again my brain is insufficiently enhanced to recall! But Rosemary she remained, all her life with me and then through my sister’s childhood too.
Eventually, after decades of a steamy life in the tropics, it was felt that Rosemary was in danger of ‘going troppo’, so she was returned to my aunt in New Zealand. Sadly, the pram had disintegrated under the stress of tropical living conditions but my aunt, and a doll doctor, were able to restore Rosemary to her original beauty.
Content that Rosemary was alive and well and in good hands, I didn’t think much more about her until, a few years back, when I visited my aunt in her new abode in a retirement home. There, on my aunt’s bed, was Rosemary. I exclaimed “Oh, you have Rosemary here. How lovely!” My aunt, who in no way at all needs artificial enhancement of her mental faculties, looked at me in great surprise and said, ” Rosemary? That’s Sadie. She’s always been Sadie.” It was my turn to be surprised. Through all those years I had loved her, my Rosemary had been hiding a secret Sadie. 🙂
My aunt went on, “I don’t know what will become of Sadie. Will you take her home with you and look after her?” “One day, I will,” I replied. But, for now, she can remain in quiet retirement. She has earned her rest. My aunt will be 94 this year. I imagine Sadie/Rosemary is only a little younger.