Is it true?
Did it happen?
I like to believe that in every
legend, every parable, every story
there is a tidbit of ‘something’
that can bring ‘good news.’

The legend of the Poinsettia plant
might be true
but even if it is not,
it is a “good news” story
and impressed Joel Roberts Poinsett,
first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and botany-lover
who brought the bright red star-shaped flower
to the United States from Mexico.

In one version of the legend,
it was little Maria and her brother Pablo.
In another version, it was Pepita and Pedro.
but whatever their names, they were very poor
– barely enough to eat two meals a day.
There was no money for anything
other than food.

Every year, their village church created a large Manger scene.
Everyone wanted to go and offer the Baby Jesus a present.
Even though Maria and Pablo had no money
and couldn’t buy a gift
they wanted to see the Baby.

Maria thought they could bring some weeds
growing along the roadside
to make the bed softer for the Baby
and decorate the Baby’s crib.
But when they arrived
the other children teased and mocked them
for bringing such a lowly gift.

Maria and Pablo began to cry.

Suddenly, the weeds were transformed
into bright red petals
that looked like stars!
Everyone was in awe.

It soon became clear
that what the sister and brother had brought the Christ Child
was far dearer than the most expensive present
that could be bought.

It was the Gift of Love.

Beyond any other gift.

But then again,
the Gift of Love
always is.

<Background: This little poinsettia plant unexpectedly arrived with my dh Hans one December day last year. Its presence in the kitchen window before and after Christmas was a constant reminder of ‘the gift of love’ that bound (and continues to bind) us together.  Few know the legend of the poinsettia so this morning’s Soulistry blog tells the tale and is shared as a wee gift of love from me to you.>


watermarkedpoinsettia-1Photo and Text © june maffin

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