Yesterday, I trimmed and tidied the lemongrass in the garden. Today, I find this photograph which puts me in memory of my beautiful, black feline, Brigid, who delighted in lemongrass as opposed to the more mundane catnip or cat grass which I grew for her and her sister.
Well actually, she more than enjoyed it, she revelled in it. It was a sudden change, one day she was happily chewing on cat grass, the next she was all over the lemongrass like a dog who enjoys a dead fish on the beach <phew!>. It became an addiction, if cats have addictions. It became a ceremony.
Every morning I would hear a bleat from her and never having been very vocal all her 14 years it was an amusing thing for me. Out the door, a quick squint in the sunlight, then to check on ‘her’ lemongrass. She would slink around it once, eyeing off the juiciest leaves, then settle down and chew for about five minutes releasing the aromatic oils. The young leaves would drop around the base of the plant. Following said mastication she would lay down, roll and squirm among them for another five. I found the scent arising from all the bruised leaves to be invigorating. I am sure Brigid did too as I could swear she had a smile on her face after engaging in her morning ritual.
Today, like most days, I miss her company. But simple memories bring her back.
I don’t know about you, but for me a scent can send me spinning off into the dark caverns of memory, touching old thoughts, transporting me into hitherto forgotten scenes or awakening old emotions.
Sourdough bread, for example, that warm, wild and yeasty scent evoking memories of security; an incense bringing into sharp relief the memories of laughter and a precious friend’s welcome home from a trip to Nepal; a rose reminding me of a special time and place of joy or lavender, the rare times I spent with my grandmother on the other side of the country.
While working towards my decluttering challenge I picked up a book, long unopened, fanned through its pages breathing in the mustiness and was transported back years before the speed of the internet, email and mobile phones made us all a part of a new world and easily accessible. Private time readings as a child, teenager and young adult was salve to my soul. Many hours were spent in other worlds with a variety of characters, all while curled up on my bed with a late winter sun pouring through the window.
I decided against moving on those books just yet. With autumn arrived I still have things to do in the garden, but those books …. well I am going to reread them all again before handing them over to the local charity store so that others can share the same stories. I am going to have an amazing winter without TV, with the computer and phone turned off, and just dive into those worlds again with the cat curled up and a hot chocolate by my side. I can smell it now.