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4 April 2019

For the first time in 6 years, the aroma of Cymbopogon, aka Lemongrass, didn’t trigger extreme discomfort with a hint of nausea. It’s not that lemongrass stinks; on the contrary, it has a pleasant fragrance. But the smell evoked my primal connection to memory and emotions. The scent of lemongrass would typically trigger a myriad of memories and feelings that contribute to my ongoing PTSD.

I was introduced to lemongrass via my first hug from a friend as we greeted each other at the airport. It was her signature essential oil that she used in everything; from shea butter to laundry detergent. I grew more and more intimate with the scent as the days, weeks, months, and – eventually – wedding came along.

But it didn’t end well. Our divorce was spectacularly underwhelming and the negative momentum fostered a tumultuous sequence of events that were nothing short of catastrophic.

Yet for the past 6 years, I’ve encountered lemongrass and its existential essence would carry me right to that first hug in the airport – followed by a strong need to lose my lunch. Something as simple as a scent could drag me, kicking and screaming, through unwanted memories of what could only feel like the precursor to purgatory. There have been instances where I’ve requested dates to change their personal aromatherapy to something other than lemongrass because it was just that repulsive.

I thought I had let (my past) go; in reality, I was wearing an elaborate mask where I could masquerade just fine until that proverbial circus of emotions came crashing into my circumstances.

Until recently, when the wind carried that cursed smell as it cuddled within a new embrace. Its citrus salutation was devoid of depressing highlight reels of a life far removed from reality. For the first time in 6 years, lemongrass smelled like… lemongrass. Could it have been the time elapsed or the person whom now it was attached? Or could it be that forgiveness finally activated and my begrudged heart was finally free?

Either way, I don’t mind the smell of lemongrass anymore.

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Award-winning podcaster and GRAMMY writer turned preacher. Entrepreneur. Marketing Strategist. Writer. Illustrator. Musician. Chef. Bullet Journalist.

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