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Come meander with me on the pathless path of the Heart
in these anecdotal,
sometimes inspiring, sometimes personal meanderings of the Heart's opening in the every-day-ness of Life...

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Spice of Life...

Yesterday I got a comment from a blogger friend on The Stew of Life post that reminded me that one of the things I *love* is the smell of savory spices, which then led me down the path to where I usually go to experience those wonderful scents. In the Summer I can go out to my herb garden, swish around in the thyme, tarragon, lavender, basil, rosemary, and marjoram and smell those delightful aromas. And sometimes I bring the herbs in and dry them as aromatic reminders. But – I *also* have a favorite spice shop where I like to go and just inhale. Usually at Christmas time it is particularly pungent. It’s been two Christmases since I’ve been there. My mind wafted to the memory and I thought – YES! That’s where I need to go to experience the “spice of life” – to soothe the simmering stew – to make life a little more palatable. Sometimes I find serenity in the simplest of pleasures – aromatic spices is one of them.

So today, after cleaning the kitchen, I headed off to the spice shop near the Lo-Do area of Denver, tucked away on a side street. This particular spice shop is in an old building, with creaking wooden floors, and shelves and shelves of jarred spices and herbs – as I imagine an old Herbalist’s shop might be – a place for creating alchemy. There is also a glassed-in “spice room” where they grind the spices into powders. The shop has lots of ambience and atmosphere. It seems reminiscent of what I imagine the “old world” to look and feel like. When I have been there before, the spice shop, not the “old world”, the experience of the spices with their unique aromas has always soothed me. But today there was no person behind the glass grinding herbs, and no pungent odor of spices wafting through the air. A slight scent of disappointment arose within me…

In the back of the shop they have wooden bins where they sell small packets of several kinds of the crushed herbs - cheap. So I headed to the back and started sniffing, bin by bin – the financially challenged person’s cheap thrill… The aromas were delicious. My absolute favorite aromatic spice is Marjoram. The dried little pod-like buds - right after they’ve been crushed - create a very distinctive odor: clear, clean, crisp. If serenity had a scent this would be it – in my imagination. I found the Marjoram bin and sniffed and sniffed at the little package. But it didn’t give off that familiar fragrance. So I kept going from bin to bin. I finally found one that said: “Herbes de Provence.” Oo-la-la! Ahhh – a touch of “old world” - France maybe. The packet ingredients were a combination of several herbs & spices: French Thyme, Savory, Fennel, Rosemary, Marjoram (there it was!), Basil, Lavender and Tarragon… I knew I had to take this one home – open it up – crush it some more to release the savory scent, place small amounts in little open bowls, and set the bowls in my kitchen cabinets. Each time I open a cabinet door my imagination takes flight as I inhale the fresh aroma of “Herbes de Provence” – and pretend I’m in a country kitchen. I take a deep breath and feel - serenity…. My little reprieve from the simmering stew of life…

Imagination – the spice of life…



2 comments:

  1. I love the creative, intuitive sense of your actions, your searching here. I could feel you being guided by some sense of inner knowing, bringing something small but uplifting to your life, moving in the direction of what will heal and uplift, employing both the metaphorical and the deeply body centred sense of smell and taste. What an uplifting and encouraging and life affirming post!

    Now what will you prepare with that wonderful spice mix?

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  2. Ahhh - "Julia" I'm not. :) The spice mix is purely therapeutic aromatherapy. And it's been delightful! Thanks for the affirming comment! C

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