When I was a child I remember always smelling a pleasant fragrance at night coming from my mother’s garden. I come to find out that the fragrance came from the Dama De Noche flower, which is a night blooming Jasmine.
A good legend behind the flower can be found here.
However, what some may not know is that the flower grows in cemeteries and graveyards in the Philippines as well. A pleasant smell should be used to remember someone right? Well, that and to cover up the smell of the dead…
Many years ago when I was still living in Sacramento, I used to work at a company that was across the street from one of the oldest Cemeteries in Sacramento.
As a child I used to be afraid of places like that, but as an adult I find it to be one of most peaceful places to visit. Death is the only freedom from this physical world. And I do not mean that in a negative nor sad way at all. I used to go that cemetery and sit; enjoy the silence. At times I would meditate, some times just take a stroll.
I worked a 2nd shift at that job. My last break would be at 10 PM, and sometimes I would take a walk outside the facility and stroll by the cemetery. I been inside the cemetery many times, not once have I seen a Dama De Noche plant from all the times I visited there. One night as I took my nightly stroll I happened to smell the flower, and the fragrance was super strong. HELLA STRONG. I thought to myself, maybe there’s a plant around my facility that I never noticed? By having a mother who is a green thumb, I am very knowledgeable when it comes to plants and very aware of my surroundings. I can spot that plant from a far, but yet I never recalled seeing one around nor ever smelling it before on other nightly walks.
After finishing my quick walk and my last 15 min break of the night, I head back into my job. My shift ends at 12:30AM, around 12:15AM I would clean up my area and then head to a restroom further away where people don’t really use (because it’s cleaner). As I enter the restroom I get a blast of the Dama De Noche fragrance. I freeze in my tracks. It’s soo strong, it’s as if someone is holding the flower under my nose. In that moment I recall a story my mother told me as a child. She said if you smell this flower and the plant is not around, it’s most likely a spirit is visiting you. 💀
I finish my shift and make my way to my car. I sit there to let my stock GSR warm up (Goes to show how long ago this was lol). As I’m sitting there I think to myself what or who can it be that visited me? An ancestor? Or maybe a spirit from the cemetery? Or maybe I’m just bat shit crazy 🦇💩🤪? Who ever it may have been, I started smelling Dama De Noche in my car. Best believe I drove home with the windows down…
Go pay your respects to the dead. Visit a random cemetery and show them your love and respect, even if you don’t know them. For that they are free from this physical bullshit and drama of life.
“Nothing is dead: men feign themselves dead, and endure mock funerals and mournful obituaries, and there they stand looking out of the window, sound and well, in some new and strange disguise.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson