How do you like your room to smell of flower night after night without you doing anything?
Every night there is this sweet-smelling flower that waif in the house. It is subtle enough that you will have to strain to find where the scent is coming from. It is from the garden to our living room and my room directly above it the shrub of white flowers gives off its scent which of course only happens during the night.
Dama de Noche, in English is called “Lady of the Night” its literal translation from Spanish is a very particular flower — it gives off no smell during the day and small flowers are close resembling buds but they open up and entertains your sense of smell during the night.
When we were young there are plenty of legends and myths around this smallish flower that were told to us by my parents and even in school and every time I smell of it I am thrown back to the summer nights we stayed up using only oil lamp and tell stories or playing with the shadows.
One story is about a man who loves the company of many women until he got married and …
Once upon a time, a nobleman who was used to live careless, going to parties every night, drinking and eating and spending his nights with different women.
One night while sitting on his luxurious mansion, the nobleman started to realize that his life was empty, and all of those crazy nights were growing old. With this in mind, embarks in a journey in look for a woman to spend the rest of his life with. After visiting a lot of villages, he finds the perfect woman, and it’s called Dama.
Dama and the nobleman get married and live happy… At first. Dama used to cook and clean for him, but this was not enough for the nobleman anymore. One night the nobleman told Dama she was not good enough for him and went back to his old life. Dama was devastated, crying, went back to the bedroom, and looking to the sky through the window, asked the spirits for help so she won’t lose her husband.
Later that night the nobleman came back to his house calling Dama to fix his night-clothes, but she was nowhere to be found. After looking for all over the mansion, he came back to the bedroom, when a sweet smell coming from the window grabbed his attention, he walked to check the window and saw a bush growing in the window, with lots of small white flowers spreading that sweet smell, capturing the nobleman with it.
Dama never came back and the nobleman waited for her return in that window, with only the smell of the flower as company.
Another story is about a girl who can feel your feelings today and react with either laughter or crying until she passed away …
A beautiful princess used to live a long time ago. Since she was a baby, she could connect with people’s emotions. If someone was happy in the house, she would laugh, if there was a sad person, then she would cry.
This beautiful baby named Dama (in the dialect, mean “Feel”, making reference to her gift of feels other people’s feelings).
Also, Dama loved perfumes, when she was a teenager, she would play with different flowers to create various perfumes, and the legend says that Dama even had her own fresh smell, specially at night, which made her have lots of suitors.
One day, Dama got really sick, as days went by, her health was deteriorating, not even the best medics of the Barangay could do something, finally dying. Her funeral was full of garlands of flowers, and her body bathed in perfume, being buried on her vast garden.
The legend says that one night a unique flower started to grow from Dama’s grave that had a really sweet fragrance at night. People started to say that the flower was Dama’s paying a visit to them, as time went by, the flower was know as Dama De Noche (Dama of the Night).
Stories like this gives young minds an opportunity to imagine, to look beyond and make up their own stories.
Myths and legends are staple during the nights when there were no TV to entertain us or when camping outside looking at the stars.
One day try to tell stories to your kids before they go to sleep it would be rewarding … promise!