I was invited at a friend’s house the other day. The weather was beautiful. We took our afternoon tea in the garden. When the sun was ready to set, I smelled a beautiful fragrance enveloping the place. “Wow, that’s so nice! Did you spray an air freshener?” I asked. “No, that’s my Queen of night!” my friend answered pointing at a beautiful plant with tiny white flowers sitting in the corner of the garden. The strongly scented flowers release their beautiful fragrance as the day ends as if sending it a thank you note, a gratitude sign; ‘till we meet again’ they seem to say. “When I smell their scent, my friend added, I remember that it’s time for my evening meditation. I take 5 minutes of total stillness to send my gratitude and daily remembrances to my Creator.”
At home, I ‘googled’ this strange plant, I was curious to learn more about it. Cestrum nocturnum, Night-blooming Jasmine, is an evergreen shrub easily grown in light and sandy soil. Its name, The Queen of Night comes from the Urdu translation of its original name, Raat Ki Rani. It is also well known in the Middle East as Misk el layl, the nocturnal musk. Its slender white flowers release their fragrance at night. It's a distinctive unforgettable fabulous aroma, a mysterious alchemy of musk and jasmine that spreads within the whole area around the plant.
Yesterday I took my daughter to her Karate class. I sat in the club’s garden reading waiting for her to finish. As the sun was setting, the mysterious scent was here again. I look around me and there it was: The Queen of Night… O my God! How many times did I miss this beauty? I've been coming here to this same place for years now and yet never noticed its presence... How often does our life just pass us by and go totally unnoticed? How often do we run on autopilot unaware and tumbling out of balance?
This evening, the beautiful fragrance carried with it my friend’s precious message: “it’s time for my evening meditation”. I took 5 minutes of total stillness to renew my intention and send my gratitude and daily remembrances to my Creator. That’s all it takes, five minutes… five minutes to restore your balance and boost your spirit… five minutes of deep awareness!!!