Have you ever heard of ‘frequency illusion” or, as it’s better known, the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon? I’ve been mildly aware of its existence for a few years now but never knew the actual name for it. After my experiences over the past few weeks though, I finally had to look it up because I found myself knee-deep in it.
It’s essentially a phenomenon that occurs when one has just learned about something for the first time (usually something obscure) and then encounters that same thing again, numerous times, shortly thereafter. Suddenly this new ‘thing’ you’ve learned about is cropping up everywhere.
A few weeks ago, while on a day trip in Mexico, I was offered some Agua de Jamaica. Not having tried it before, I asked our guide what it was and he explained that it’s a popular Mexican agua fresca made using Jamaica Hibiscus flowers. I tried some and thought it was quite good. And then I didn’t give it another thought. Just 3 days after I returned from that trip I turned on my computer to catch up on a few blogs that I follow and one of the posts staring back at me was titled “Homemade Agua de Jamaica“. I was surprised to be hearing about this hibiscus drink for a second time in just a few days BUT given that the blogger is herself Mexican, I decided it was simply an interesting coincidence.
A week later I was sitting in a coffee shop in Toronto with a friend who ordered an herbal tea – hibiscus tea. She told me that she’s been drinking it lately because she heard that hibiscus helps to smooth out wrinkles. Again with the hibiscus! And this time there was no Mexican connection. I still didn’t think too much of this recurring hibiscus flower phenomenon until I was perusing a friend’s website just days ago and came across her recipe for making Sorrel. Sorrel, I learned, is the name given to the hibiscus tea drink served in the Caribbean (typically at Christmas time). Huh.
Finally, just yesterday, I was shopping for a garden decoration for a close relative’s up-coming birthday when I came across a small jar of Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup – a handmade product from Australia. That was it.
I decided that the universe was trying (very hard) to tell me something. From Mexico, Toronto, the Caribbean and Australia, it seemed the whole world wanted me to sip on a hibiscus flower-infused drink. So I bought the little jar, brought it home and followed the instructions on its label.
Here’s a toast to Mexico and its delicious Agua de Jamaica, to the Caribbean islands and their festive Sorrel and to Australia’s wild hibiscus flowers that are now injecting both style and flavour into my champagne. I finally got the message…..I’m drinking the koolaid!
Fingers crossed that the wrinkle-busting rumour is true!
Have you ever been introduced to something while travelling only to then find it at home, everywhere! Have you encountered the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon first hand? Eerie isn’t it.