Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Lavender Sachet

“Did you know, Mother, that there is nothing quite like the fragrant scent of a lavender sachet?” said Alfred.  “I had noticed that you must have placed a lavender sachet among the sheets stored in the linen closet. The fragrance of lavender is evocative of many of the small exquisite things that have been handed down to us from our parents.  It quite brings me back to the halcyon days of my grandparents; of fine linen and lace, and morning tea in the garden on an early spring day.”

“I do know what you mean, Alfred,” replied Mother, “but while my own mother often placed a lavender bouquet among the stored linens, that certainly was not the fragrance that I remember from my childhood visits to my grandparent’s home.  As you know, Grandfather Talliaferro and my Grandmother Rosalia were Sicilian.  Often their home was redolent with the fragrance of fresh baked bread, Pane Siciliano, with its golden crust sprinkled with sesame seeds; that of course and the heady aroma of garlic, basil, kalamata olives, anchovies and capers in a Puttanesca Sauce.”

            “That certainly isn’t lavender sachet, Mother,” said Alfred, “but those heady aromas have their own strong values.  It has been too long since we have dined on Spaghetti Puttanesca, with those wonderful Italian sausages that you used to purchase at Jimmy’s Food Store on Bryan Street in Dallas.”

            “Oh, Alfred, that reminds me,” answered Mother, “there is sad news, Jimmy DiCarlo, the founder of Jimmy’s, just died.”

            “That is sad news indeed, Mother.” said Alfred, “I really do hope that they maintain their traditions.  I am most concerned that we do make an effort to treasure the heritage passed down to us from the past.”

            “You know, Alfred, there are times I’m almost embarrassed by my past.  The recent visit from my cousin Angelo was in some ways most uncomfortable.”

            “Well, you have to admit Mother,” said Alfred with a chuckle, “that Angelo certainly knows how to dress in a fine Continental style.”

            “But, his business!  Alfred!”

            “Yes, I know Mother, but that is beside the point!  What is important is not some of the peccadillos of some of our family members.  What is important is the wondrous heritage that we both share from our past.  Why, the prophet Jeremiah said much the same thing, ’Stand by the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.’[i]  While that applies to the things that we value from our faith, it also applies to the things that are good and noble from the past.  Living fully in the present is only possible when we accept the good things from our past.”

            “Do you really think so, Alfred?” asked Mother.

            “Of that I am quite certain,” answered Alfred.

            “Well then, Alfred, I will start some Pane Siciliano this evening, and tomorrow we will have Spaghetti Puttanesca and Italian sausages for dinner.”

            “That is absolutely wonderful, Mother.  Let’s invite Horace and Grace Whittington over for dinner.  I’m sure they would enjoy it.”

            “Oh, yes, let’s, Alfred,” said Mother. “It been a long times since we have had people over for dinner.”

[1] Jeremiah 6:16

[i] Jeremiah 6:16

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