The Nature of Basil | by Nadja Maril | creative nonfiction

I pluck four thick green leaves and inhale the aromatic scent. How do I describe the smell? Fresh. Almost mint. Aromatic.
I recall my first introduction to fresh herbs. Eight years old, seated between adults, the familiar smell of tomato sauce wafts across the table. The artist chef is excited to serve us each a small yellow bowl of something he wants us to share.
“Simple,” he says, “So simple but so delicious.” Spaghetti marinara topped with a few pieces of fresh-picked basil. 
I point my nose toward the green leaves in the middle and sniff. Yes. This is something new. The noodles are thick. Cooked al dente. The sauce clings to their edges. Eat until satiated.
I listen to stories told while wine is sipped from jelly glasses. Study the wrinkles on the old people’s faces and hear their laughter.
Basil is no longer something dried and sprinkled from a bottle. Faded green dust. These leaves are bright and moist. Young. I place one on my tongue and taste summer.

Beeper Peddle is a writer and healer living on the East Coast. She lives with her partner and their beloved soul puppy. Beeper writes about sorrows, lies, and deep loves. When you read her work, you will dip down into her heart and end up in all manner of body parts. Should you find yourself reflected in these words, it is merely coincidence; however, it does not surprise her you share the same heart. Find her at and @beeperpeddle on Twitter and Instagram

Nadja Maril is a former magazine editor and journalist living in Annapolis, Maryland. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the Stonecoast Program at the University of Southern Maine and her short stories and essays have been published in a number of literary magazines that include: Change Seven, Lunch Ticket, Thin Air, Defunkt Magazine and Lumiere Review. Additional credits include two reference books on American Antique Lighting as well as two children’s books.