What the heck is sage for?
Other than the second of four herbs in “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme” – Simon and Garfunkel’s “first masterpiece” – why was sage included in our Thanksgiving dinner grocery shopping list?
Sage, evidently, must matter, but I, not being a cook, have no idea why the several packages of the funny looking grass-like “subshrubs,” as I was to learn they’re called, went from grocery shelf to conveyer belt to shopping bag to our home.
I do know it was raining. Again. Not the kind of rain that comes down hard and in sideways sheets with the force that destroys umbrellas, soaks in seconds, slows traffic to a crawl, and is accompanied by a furious thrashing of windshield wipers. Those caught in that kind of rain get what they deserve. No this was a grey, drab, cold, depressing drizzle – the kind that drips down your collar because you forgot your cap.
The heater was on high which meant no doubt the ice-cream was melting and though we were thus in a hurry still, to keep from running over him, we waited to pull into our driveway with all the makings of our Thanksgiving feast – including sage – while he slowly shuffled by.
‘He’ is the local homeless fellow who for the longest time wore a ragged and thin red jacket. No hood. No hat. Oversized boots with no laces gave the impression he was taking two steps for every one as his purposeless and aimless gait conveyed him about the community.
Lately though he must have stopped by the clothing bank. Though still with no hat, the coat appears new, or newer, and hangs past his knees. And his boots are tied.
But his head is still down. Still rarely does he return a greeting. Even rarer is a glance that meets your eyes.
Except this time.
“Can you come to our home for Thanksgiving Dinner?” My wife had jumped out of the car and into the drizzle where she blocked his path. No answer was not acceptable. He’d have to step around her to get to wherever it was he was going.
All of our family – four grown children, three grandchildren, and one on the way – and extended family which includes a foster-grandchild, an adopted grandchild and his biological parents, and more will gather around our table on Thanksgiving.
Laughter will bounce off the walls, the fire will eventually burn down to embers and, if we can get the antenna fixed, maybe we’ll watch football.
We’ll feast on a masterpiece of turkey and broccoli salad and mashed potatoes and gravy followed by pie and later more pie.
Sage will somewhere show up in all that’s on the overburdened table too.
And maybe he’ll show up.
“Thank you,” he said, smiling at my wife.