Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Basil Deva

It is summer, and basil is bursting into bloom in my New Mexico garden.  Here's a creative writing piece I did back in Hawaii, when in an entirely different climate, basil was on display.  It is such a versatile, lovely, and healing plant.  Take some time to sniff and taste some soon.



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Basil Deva
The fragrance of Basil envelops me as I brush against her bright green leaves. It’s impossible to ignore her, even if my garden destination is another plant.


Basil cries out, 


“Here! Here! Pick me! I’m glad to see you! Let me share my bounteous greens, my delightful aromas with you. My family is present in gardens around the world, our uses culinary, medicinal, and holy. Surely, we Basils may seem to be nothing fancy, hardly considered exotic, and yet, can you imagine how dull your sensual world would be without us?


Let the aroma of my Genovese Basil plunge you back to that summer in Tuscany…remember sitting under the grape arbor, drinking Chianti by the flickering of fireflies, dining on fresh San Marzano tomatoes, with pulp so fleshy, red and thick, so explosively flavorful as to negate any thoughts of darker things in the world?


Remember how Cinnamon Basil’s savory-sweet mix enhanced the braised lamb at Caravansary in San Francisco? You were a young woman then, smitten by the cosmopolitan ambiance of that great city, dreaming of journeys ahead.
Sharing mezze of hummus, baba ghanoush, and pita bread with friends, Cinnamon Basil and company introduced you to a foreign place by first tasting the cuisine.


Thai Basil, with her complex combination of citrus and licorice notes, takes you back to a humid, steamy night of lavish dining on the banks of the Chao Phraya, the food carvings of radishes and carrots offering a visual still life against the tactile fireworks exploding on your tongue. Wildly infatuated with Asia and the man across the table, you basked in the pleasures spread before you.


Sweet, Mediterranean, African Blue, Lime, Lemon, Mexican Spice, Opal Purple, Red Rubin, Greek, Sweet Chen, my many names, like my flavors, luxuriate in your mouth. 


As my fragrance dances around you, recall how the Peruvian shaman’s use of my leaves and flowers, when mixed with the waters of the Amazon in a limpia, purified you to meet other great plant teachers. This Basil was a midwife, who embraced and cradled your spirit and delivered you gently into a state of grace.


Holy Tulsi, Tulasi (the Incomparable One), in Sanskrit, worshipped in India as a manifestation of the Goddess Lakshmi, is rightfully revered for Her healing and comforting qualities. Recall how planting Her by your doorway invites well-being and benediction.”


Brushing gently against Basil in my garden, I realize how my life has been enriched and blessed by Her Presence. Basil says, “Here! Here! Pick me. Smell me. Taste me. Savor me. Let me embrace you, heal you, fill you and open your heart.”


I do, and She is Divine.

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