February 23, 2018

A Song of the Rosemary

This evening, still dizzy with flu, I wept while I cut into my beloved rosemary bush, trying to tidy the wreck my landlady has made of it. Such a beautiful exuberant bush, the only thing here that truly thrives in the all-day sun; the only green thing I saw when I looked out my lounge window. Maybe one fifth of it remains now.

I tried to write something cheerful. Last time I posted from my heart about my personal experiences, it didn't go well. And I've heard all the arguments that we must focus on the positive and say only things we can all agree upon. But there's this stubborn voice inside which tells me that if we don't share our grief, we'll have no hope of healing this world. Grief matters. It's another face of love.

And there was more to this post, but I went to bed and picked up my little old novel, which I've been rereading in my illness, and came to this part, which takes place in the darkest hour -

"Tell me a story," he says ...

"I can't, I've lost all my memory." He reaches out blindly, takes my hand. I tell him the one thing I can remember. "Some day, I will have a dozen children. And we will climb into a boat together and sail away."

He smiles. "To somewhere peaceful, with lots of flowers."

"No. To somewhere sad. And we will plant flowers."

Every now and again I sit and imagine when I live again in the countryside, looking back on my time in this neighbourhood like a grey dream. But that troubles me too. The thought of running away and leaving all the tree-cutters and gas-burners to their fate - it feels like such an unwomanly thing to do. We are the hearthkeepers and growers, we women, aren't we? We are the makers of quilts that bring all the patches together. There's a saying - be where your feet are.  Maybe I could also say - do where your feet are. I can not grow lush bushes of rosemary or roses here, but I can tell stories about the sea-drenched moon, throw food to the wild swans, and memorialise on my weblog the lost trees and vanished river-dragon.

As I went to Facebook to post the link for this, I got into a brief conversation with a woman who is starting schools for highly sensitive children, including those with autism, ADHD, and so on. I felt such joy talking with her. There is a great deal of goodness in the world. So many people doing what they can, where they can - serving with a love born no doubt of out griefs. I am grateful to the universe for showing me this woman tonight.