Rosemary, for remembrance. I pick pungent spikes of evergreen and crush releasing a heady aroma that heightens the senses. And flowers, royal in colour catch the eye in this strangest of times. On this Holy Saturday I remember.
I remember the emptiness, the absence, dejection and hopelessness felt by disciples. It was finished. I remember the heady scent of spices blessing a body broken. I remember.
I remember their friend, their King who healed and blessed and reached out. Riding on a donkey then hung out to die on a cross. I remember.
I remember the emptiness because this year I feel it. Streets are empty, parks silent, car parks deserted. Just a handful of people standing apart, queuing for essentials. A friend smiles a greeting, but I can’t approach. I realise how much I miss normality.
Church buildings stand empty aching and sighing for absent friends. Remembering a time of joyous gathering. Shouts of ‘Christ is Risen, Alleluia!’ echo in its chambers and I remember.
But I also remember on this silent and Holy Saturday that we have a hope, the glimmer of a promise not present in those first followers. We know that this will pass and there will be a new dawn. Resurrection, Joy, Hope.
And I remember that today’s emptiness will also pass. This socially distant tomb will have its stone rolled away. And we will gather once more with friends.
And I remember that doors, once bolted, will be flung wide to welcome us in to gather as a people. Raising our voices once more in praise. Voices released from the shackles of isolation. Resurrected.
Rosemary, pungent, heady, purple and royal. In this strangest of times, Holy Saturday, I remember.