On the flight into Egypt
for all to see,
On an unscented shrub hung so tenderly,
Were the Christ Child's newly laundered clothes,
On a lavender bush, so the legend goes.
They had stopped to rest by the roadside there,
Maryís clean wet laundry was everywhere.
On this scentless shrub His clothes did lay,
Swaddling clothes, Mary's washday.
Though Herodís soldiers were all around,
The Holy Family could still be found,
Attending to the Christ Childís needs,
Along the wayside, among the weeds.
She hung them gently on this drying rack,
His swaddling clothes, a scent it did lack.
Still a symbol of virtue and purity,
"Our Lady's Shelter," so none could see.
It hid them while the soldiers passed,
So she gave it a blessing that would ever last.
A fragrance this shrub would no longer lack;
Spikenard, manger herb, drying rack.
For the bush that held the Christ Child's
Took on His scent and thus arose,
A smell so sweet beloved by Mary,
His precious scent it would always carry.
Thereafter, so the legend goes,
Lavender smelled of swaddling clothes.
© 2005 by Dot McGinnis
"And this shall be a sign unto you;
find the babe wrapped
in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."
Our Lady's Shelter