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“Rose Scented Water”

By Mindy

I can still remember the day my mother introduced me to rose scented water. It was the year I turned 13, when I knew I was changing and becoming something more. Where I was too old for toys and too young for adult things. Where the future I wanted seemed right around the corner.

“Kathryn,” mom said, “there will be times when your life gives you an unexpected turn. You may end up far from home and those things which are familiar. What I’m going to show you, can bring you home, any time you want.” She poured some oil into a pan of water, then poured in steaming water. There was a small jar of dried rose petals she kept on the shelf that never seemed to be for anything before. Now, the jar had a purpose.

“Mom, how can this bring me home?” I asked, watching her carefully, looking for a scientific reasoning for this.

“Kathryn, some day you are going to have to realize that there can’t always be an answer for every question. This is an exercise of trust and faith. You have to believe.” As her words echoed off, she stood up and dried her hands. “What I want you to do is relax. Close your eyes and open your mind.”

Like the good daughter I wanted to be, I followed her instructions. I relaxed and cleared my mind of everything, even the questions of why I was doing this.

“Make a picture in your mind. . .think of how Phoebe likes to spread color across paper when she paints. There are colors changing the black. What do you see?”

I licked my lips and thought, thinking about what I was seeing and what I wanted to see. The black in front of my iris and behind closed lids, started taking on color. Like mother said, it was like when Phoebe painted.

“I see blue, dotted with white.”

“What does it remind you of? Be descriptive,” mom emphasized.

“It’s not color of the sky during the middle of the day. It’s more like that deeper blue it turns as it gets closer to sunset. The white must be clouds. They have no real shape and they seem to inch across the blue.”

“Good,” mom said. “Now, look around and tell me what you see.”

I looked. It was one of the most powerful things I had ever seen. It was incredible. Around and in back of me were brown cliffs, that looked like brown sugar. An ocean of blue was before me, as far as the eyes could see. The white foam pounding into the sand. I could smell it, see it, hear it. The breeze blew through my hair, whipping into my eyes. The sun warmed me between these blasts of air.

Telling mother all of this, I finally took a breath and. . .you wouldn’t believe the smell. It was like I was in a place that was nothing but roses upon roses. It was heavenly.

“Rose scented water, will make this memory come alive, Kathryn. Just take the time to find your home.”

For the rest of that day, I felt very at peace. I wasn’t pressured, I had a great feeling of ease and contentment. From that day forward, when I needed a boost, I would lock myself in the bathroom and reproduce my rose scented water.


I don’t know what made me do it. I was just thinking about and suddenly, I was given to a sudden urge to just leave the bridge and go home.

Two hours later, sitting on the cold floor of my bathroom, I calmly and quietly answered the door chime. Moments later, the door opened and there was Chakotay. I looked up at him and smiled.

“Well, you must be feeling pretty good. You usually only give me the look you are giving me on three different occasions.”

“And what might those occasions be?” I asked him, my eye’s half closed.

Chakotay gave me that smile of his and leaned against the wall. “One, is when you’ve had a really satisfying cup of coffee. The second, is when you’ve managed to pull one over on Tuvok, Doc, or Seven. And three, is when you finally allow yourself to relax and enjoy yourself.”

I back and let my eyes close. “Is that the only time I ever look like this?”

Chakotay, I could tell by the tone of voice, had an answer for me. “Well Kathryn, I’m not sure. I’ll bet there are other times you give me that look, but I’m not privy to them.”

I sighed and patted the floor beside me, an indication and invitation for him to sit down. “I was thinking about something my mother taught me when I was thirteen.”

Chakotay sat down, his body lightly touching mine. “And I suppose the roses have something to do with it. It smells like a rose garden in here.”

“That’s the point. Rose scented water, my mother always told me, would help me find my way home. When I couldn’t physically be there.”

“Sounds like some sort of vision quest.”

I shook my head. “Perhaps. But home isn’t Indiana or San Francisco.” I thought a moment before continuing. “You know when you showed me how to find my spirit guide at the beginning of this adventure?”

“Yes,” Chakotay replied.

“Believe it or not, it’s the same place. Until today, I didn’t put the two together. Comprehensively, I thought maybe I should have, but didn’t.” I closed my eyes and thought a minute. “I wonder if it would do the same thing for you.”

“You mean, find home like your mother taught you to do?”

“Yes,” I said. I took his hand in mine and began. “Close your eyes, Chakotay. Clear your mind of everything, see only the blackness, hear only the sound of my voice.” I watched him carefully, noting just how darn peaceful he was.

“Now imagine a paint brush brushing color over the black canvas of your mind, then tell me what you see. Make me see it with you. . .”


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