For someone who was raised in a household where medications always seemed to be present (my father was a pharmaceutical representative at one time), it would seem natural that I collect pill boxes. But those who know me well would laugh at the incongruity of this. I detest medication unless absolutely necessary. This thinking was probably nurtured young by watching my grandfather cure an ill here and there. He was a firm believer in homeopathic medicine. If there was something in the natural world that could cure something, it was good enough for him. I have vivid memories that still make me winch, one involved extracting juice from onions using mortar and pestel then placing the mush into a clean linen cloth and squeezing the juice right into his eyes! He believed it was good for eye sight. A prolific writer and proficient in several languages, he died at his desk in his 90s, writing to the end.
On my 13th birthday I dislocated my right thumb. The years of typing have taken a toll on past injury. As I grow older, that birthday haunts me. Determined to work my way through pain without popping pills is a challenge I face every day. One evening it was cold, colder than it should have been even for Esperance, when I stopped by at the shopping centre. The best parking was furthest away and in front of the newsagent. Worked for me! I’m always careful with a hire car, the merest scratch or bump from others who park carelessly in a windy town means $$$, for me. I bought what I needed and as I was leaving I noticed a tray of plastic baggies, samples with a smear of ointment/salve. I asked what they were and the lady brought out a leaflet and read through the list of things it was supposed to heal. Judging from the range of ailments, it had to be powerful stuff! Now with anyone else who did what I did, I would say they were naive to buy what I perceived to be ‘snake oil’ remedy. I opened a sample cautiously, expecting a whiff of putrescent air to knock me over. To my surprise the ointment had a beautiful aroma. I’ll have some of that, I thought, regardless of what it can or can’t do. The aroma alone could heal anything and I wanted to wake to a bed saturated with it. After a day of using the ointment, I noticed I did not have any pain. That was over a month ago. Placebo? I’m not sure.
Smell is evocative. It stays in memory. If you have ever inhaled the perfume of a rose, you’ll know what I mean. Perhaps this is why a gift of roses is considered a panacea for all wrongs to be put right. As does the scent of roses in salve.
Until next time
a dawn bird
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