Dear ones, I write from the mists of orange blossom and rose. These two friends have walked with me the strange pathways of my adult years, from my early days in Morocco as a young woman, to motherhood, and through many changes. Their medicines are of the heart, of ease and of a special feminine power and magic.
I called again on their medicine this Spring when their fleeting seasonal bounty coincided with my return to Fes after many months away, and together we re-forged our bond over the boiling copper pots. Touching their flowers, I was delighted with the softness of their petals once again and the immense fragrance which fills the distillation room. This time, I approached the alembic with a kind of confidence and knowing that has grown steadily with time as I dive deeper into the craft of distillation, which mirrors a deepening of knowing and experience on my other paths – womanhood, motherhood and soul.
Those days were heady in the high waters of Ramadan, and heart medicines have a way of lifting up too, so that I was floating along with the steam until my feet fell back softly onto the earth over the following weeks. I shared some of my time with new sisters I encountered suddenly but sweetly in those holy weeks in Spring, who like me were searching for something in those aromatics.
I traced the path of the holy waters we distilled, who waited for 40 days on their own journey to maturity. Like them, it took me some time to gather myself from the experience and today I create this record of our journey together – from flower to perfume, action to encounter.
I started to use the finished rose and orange blossom waters some weeks ago, slowly acquainting them with my routine and discovering the ways we wanted to work together. I love using both in a multitude of ways, and generally make use of them whenever and wherever possible, gladly embracing a bountiful attitude to their rare and precious medicine.
Today was different though, and I was reminded of their power in the moments when they are needed most. Rose and orange blossom work as a pair to ground and centre the emotions when they begin to spiral, and orange blossom in particular is a grounding friend, whilst rose feels like a warm embrace. Today I felt caught between the worlds of change I have been swimming through over the last few years, and as I spiralled, the encounter rose and orange blossom permitted me was enough to remember the path, and the resources I already have around me when I feel lost.
Their fragrant whispers echo into the corners of my day as I am reminded that I am not alone, and that life continues even when I meet blockages and darkness. Their pathway from bush and tree, through the death and rebirth of distillation, transforming finally to perfume and medicine, reminds me that I too can be reshaped and moulded into the forms that are needed of me now, and for the future.