Fragrances & Flavors of Our Lives

Sea Salt, Elton, Russia. Photo by Pavel Neznanov on Unsplash.

Fragrances & Flavors of Our Lives

Flavors shape cultural identity

and turn the tides of history.

The Roman Empire, in its day,

issued salt as part of army pay.

Explorers in antiquity learned to subsist

on salted meat and salted fish.

Gandhi led a peaceful march to the sea

to evaporate seawater and set India free.

Indian Spices. Photo by Ratul Ghosh on Unsplash

The Silk Road brought spices to Europe.

Christopher Columbus sailed in the hope

of finding a safer route to “The Indies”

to trade for pepper and other delicacies.

He was funded by Queen Isabella of Spain,

who did not sell her jewels in vain.

In the “New World,” where Columbus landed,

grew tobacco and cocoa, soon in demand.

Vineyard, Germany. Photo by Marcus Winkler on Unsplash

Tobacco, wine, peyote… ceremonial provisions

used to negotiate peace and summon visions.

Coca leaves chewed for energy,

opium dreams to enhance creativity…

addictions to subjugate humanity.

Medicines to relieve pain and to restore health…

violence, illegal trade, and ill-gotten wealth.

Nature’s gifts come from Mother Earth.

How they are used determines their worth.

Traditional Chinese medicine. Photo by Marion Botella on Unsplash

“Let food be thy medicine!” declared Hippocrates.

Since ancient times, food has fought disease.

Ginger and turmeric season our food,

ease pain and dyspepsia and thin blood.

Garlic, a worldwide perennial favorite,

has a multitude of health benefits.

Chilli peppers soothe pain and add heat to curries,

savory stir fries, and Texas chilli.

Sassafras is a tonic that flavors root beer, teas,

and file gumbo, pride of New Orleans.

Hakuna Matada Spice Farm, Dole Zanzibar. Photo by Daniel DeNadai on Unsplash

Nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and cardamon,

cozy flavors that remind us of home.

Home-cooked sweet memories,

a flavorful shield against disease:

Cilantro, rosemary, mint, and dill,

tarragon, oregano, and fennel,

basil, anise, lemon grass, and more…

These are a few of the herbs we adore.

Traditional Chinese medicine, herbal tea, Australia. Photo by Neven Krcmarek on Unsplash

Herbs and flowers smell enticingly sweet

and exquisitely flavor the foods we eat.

It is said that Cleopatra, legendary beauty,

favored fragrances made from patchouli.

Rose and jasmine fragrances, jasmine tea.

Orange blossom perfume, orange blossom honey.

Candied violets decorate fancy cakes.

Natstutiums in salad impart spicy taste.

Cotswold Lavender, UK. Photo by David Stratton on Unsplash

Scents and flavors bring to mind

life experiences of every kind…

The people we’ve known, the places we’ve been,

culinary travels to lands unseen.

Condiments and their role in history.

Glimpses into the mysteries.

Teasing the palate, inspiring creativity…

All thanks to Mother Nature’s generosity.

Delicious spices at a market, Turkey. Photo by Engin Akyurt on Unsplash

Copyright© 2021 by Cheryl Batavia


To my fellow bloggers,

I continue fighting very slow, unresponsive emails even after updating my computer with Apple, and still need to check out the problem with our internet provider as well as WordPress. Our TV reception, on the same system, is also having problems. I am reading a few emails when I can between doctor and dentist appointments. Also, I am now the designated driver for both of us. I look forward to being back full-time on WordPress soon after Robert’s cataract surgery is completed in September. I hope life is treating you well.

All the best! ❤ Cheryl


  1. Beautiful poem Cheryl. Yes the fragrances and flavors of spices trigger a melange of memories. I specially liked the lines…
    “Nature’s gifts come from Mother Earth;

    How they are used determines their worth.”
    Absolutely true!!
    Best wishes with the doctor visits and your husband’s surgery. Take care ❤️

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Beautiful poem, Cheryl. A wonderful tribute to spices that add flavour to our food. I noticed that you’d misspelled Gandhi as Ghandi.
    How they are used determines their worth indeed. I hope his surgery goes well and that you’d get more time for blogging. Take care

    Liked by 1 person


  3. This is such a nice way of explaining the essence of all the spices and how they add flavor to our dull life. I hope everything goes well with the surgery and your husband recovers soon! Takecare, Stay safe ❤️

    Liked by 2 people


  4. What a wonderful tribute to the spices that flavour our foods and life! From the past to the present you have captured their journey poetically. Lovely!❤️
    Best wishes for your husband’s surgery. Take care and stay safe. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people


  5. this poem is so deliciously delicate with all those tantalising spices to brighten our food and our senses! Just so glad I had supper before I read it 🙂

    All the best with your tech and medical issues, I don’t expect a reply or a read, just take care of you two 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


  6. Feel glad to read a nice poem about such varied array of spices and their history and utility, after a long time. Missed you Cheryl. Wish, all the medical intervention are safely taken care of. Stay happy and healthy❤️🌹❤️

    Liked by 1 person


  7. Wowww!! Dear Cheryl, I’m very happy you see you back..! Hope you’re amazing..! And this piece is very amazing dear..! I loved it very much..! Very Amazingly written my dear..! Sending you love and hugs..!🤗🤗💕

    Liked by 1 person


    1. Filarance, I am working on my email problems and trying to get up to speed. Medical appointments will continue for the next month, but I do look forward to being fully back on WordPress soon. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. Take care! ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person


      1. Oh my sweet Cheryl, sad to hear this..! I’m eagerly waiting to read more of your beautiful posts dear..! You’re very welcome my sweet friend..! You too take care dear..! My love and prayers to you..!💕💕🤗

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Love the poem, love the visuals and especially love the spices! Motivation for exploration more often than not (rather than the assumed, tho still a factor, reasons of ‘world domination’). All told, spices are part of a healthy diet when chosen for such a purpose.
    So sorry to hear your techie woes are still front and center – but it sounds like you’re on a path of sorts towards resolution.
    Take care.

    Liked by 1 person


    1. Laura, Thank you for your thoughtful response. While I did not go deeply into detail, I hope the poem will pique interest in history and multiple cultures. There is so much more than the names and dates we were forced to memorize in school. So glad you enjoyed the post. ❤ Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person


  9. This post is a hymn to medicinal plants, salt and spices that give more flavor. They are part of history.
    I also have the same problems with slow computer and TV failures. It must be said that there is a huge crowd of Internet users
    Don’t worry about Robert’s eye surgery. He will see wonderfully clearly just after.
    See you soon, Cheryl,
    Love ❤

    Liked by 2 people


    1. Thank you so much, Michel, for your kind comment and your encouraging words. I read your comment out loud to Robert, and we both appreciate the support. He is a little nervous about his upcoming surgery, but hopefully, things will go smoothly. Sorry that you are also experiencing technical problems…so annoying! I do notice that the computer functions better at some times than others, maybe depending on how many users there are at the time.

      You and Janine take care.
      Love ❤



  10. Wow Cheyrl,
    This is such a spicy Poem filled with elixers and bridging our world in so many ways. It is a fabulous poem. Good luck to Robert with his cataract surgery and you with the internet stuff. Maybe I hope the problem is on your end. The technology is killing me right now. Take good care my friend.
    hugs and love,

    Liked by 1 person


    1. I appreciate the kind and encouraging words, Cindy. Glad you like the poem. ❤ So sorry that technology is killing you too. Here's wishing you a speedy resolution to your technology woes. Not my favorite type of challenge!

      Robert is still having sensitivity issues with the eye drops they used to dilate his eyes at his exam last week. They are ordering drops from a compounding pharmacy for the surgery. Meanwhile, he found some preservative-free soothing eye drops at the pharmacy today. I will be glad when this is all over.

      All the best! ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person


      1. It’s my pleasure Cheryl. It was a gem of a poem.
        Awww yes, not fun and sorry you’ve been missing mine and having issues as well which is such a pain. Yes, here’s to better tech days.

        oh boy, i home the compound works and the surgery goes well!!! I can imagine it will be good when it’s all over.💖 take good care.❣️

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Hello ma’am, I hope you are doing well. I hadn’t been receiving post notifications! Missed reading you.

    That was a beautiful poem and I was having my morning tea while reading it. It was a wonderful combo. Always an admirer of gorgeous poems.

    I pray that your husband’s surgery goes on well. Take care and stay safe ❤️

    Liked by 1 person


  12. Dear Cheryl, I loved this culinary journey through history and around the world! 🌎 it’s so true that nature’s bounty can heal or harm us, depending upon how we use it. I hope you and your partner are doing well ❤️

    Liked by 1 person


    1. Thank you for your kind response to the poem, Dwight. ❤ So glad you enjoyed it. I will take spice in my life wherever I can get it! Well, almost. 🙂

      Good news! Earlier this week, I spent half a day online with Apple updating to the latest version on my tired old computer, and today I finally got my computer repaired. My emails are working normally once again. I look forward to reading many more posts. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


    1. Thank you so much, Lawrence, for your kind words. After updating to the newest Apple version and computer repairs, I am ready to be productive again. My new email is much faster, so I can get more done in less time.

      Of course, the main focus now is Robert’s upcoming cataract surgery. I am looking forward to his eyesight being sharp and clear again.

      You, too, stay safe and have a wonderful week! ❤



  13. What a delightful post reminding me how blessed we are! My senses were dancing among the memoires of these flavors and fragrances. We’ve always used garlic freely and I’m starting to use more Indian spices like turmeric. It’s fun to experiment.

    Liked by 2 people


    1. JoAnna, Yes, it really is fun to experiment with new flavors, and we have access to such a wide array of herbs and spices, probably more so than at any time in the past. Garlic has so many health benefits! I use both a turmeric supplement and fresh ginger in my green smoothies every day. They are effective and don’t have side effects.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts about herbs and spices. So glad you enjoyed the poem. ❤

      Liked by 1 person


  14. Those spices holds so many flavours mixed with sweet memories.
    As an Indian I can assure how important they are for the food and health.
    This piece is so well written, Cheryl. You mentioned everything just like a spice do to the food.

    Saying extra prayers for his speedy recovery. Love you lots

    Liked by 1 person


    1. Thank you, Ritish, for your kind response. If anyone knows their flavors, it would be Indians. Many of the flavors the world enjoys today are a gift from India.

      Thank you for your good wishes and prayers for Robert. Your kindness is very much appreciated. ❤ ❤ ❤ Wishing you health and happiness!

      Liked by 1 person


    1. Thank you for asking, David. ❤ Robert has been cleared by the doctor for his cataract surgery on 8/30. He is having side effects from a medication prescribed for dizziness…very fatigued. The medication is working, and he hopes to be able to discontinue it soon. Today we went to his orthodontist, who scanned a painful crown. We should have results soon. Everything is OK, but nothing is easy. 🙂



  15. What a wonderful poem Cheryl that speaks to the heart. Isn`t it wonderful what our beautiful earth has in store for us? I love to cook with the different spices. In our garden I have raised beds with herbs e.g. sage, pimpinelle, peppermint, thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano and many others. It’s fun to experiment.
    Cheryl, Take care and stay safe ❤️
    Rosie from Germany

    Liked by 1 person


  16. Cheryl, I have enjoyed most of your posts, if not all, BUT this one has to be my favorite. Oh, I love this new style you ve’ taken. I think it’s the history, the spices that teased my taste buds, and the talk of flavored tea that brought memories rushing back. I think i will read it again. Bravo!

    Liked by 1 person


    1. Thank you, Angela, for your beautiful response. ❤ So glad you liked the poem. I read in the comments for your last poem that you are planning to write a research paper on homelessness. I would be interested to see a post on your results. All the best!

      Liked by 1 person


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