Jasmine is just now coming into bloom on the patio fence. The cruciform snow will soon be drifted up in great snowbanks, with so many thousands of white crosses.
Jasmine is of the olive family. That was a surprise to me. Wikipedia also presents the etymology as “derived from the Persian Yasameen (“gift from God”) through Arabic and Latin.” In Hebrew that would be Nathaniel. In Latin: Deodatus. The Italians will often shorten that to just Donato.
I can’t think of a better flower to give to Jesus’ good mom on the anniversary of the dedication of the major basilica named after her over in Rome: Saint Mary of the Snows.
The Catholic Encyclopedia has it that in the middle of the 4th century, “during the pontificate of Liberius, the Roman patrician John and his wife, who were without heirs, made a vow to donate their possessions to the Virgin Mary. They prayed that she might make known to them how they were to dispose of their property in her honor. On 5 August, at the height of the Roman summer, snow fell during the night on the summit of the Esquiline Hill. In obedience to a vision of the Virgin Mary that they had the same night, the couple built a basilica in honor of Mary on the very spot that was covered with snow.”