Friday, March 25, 2011

coming to my senses

it's been warm around my little town lately. warm enough that on my ride home yesterday, i rolled down my windows. immediately, it hit me. a gentle breeze, carrying with it the smell of summer. someone was grilling out, or burning leaves, and the smoky, hazy atmosphere attached to my radio waves, and i rode both all the way home.

and as i drove, the sun started to set and my steering wheel warmed, and i went back. to the five summers i spent lifeguarding at the community pool. shopping for sundresses. my first kiss under the august moon. cheap fireworks on the pavement on july 4th, with names like "sprinkling rain" and "lotus flower." the simple scent of fire, and the memories came flooding back. and like the bradford pears shedding their gorgeous blooms on the sidewalks, so my heart shook itself back into feeling.

my mama keeps a little porcelain avon jar on her bathroom sink. just a little screw-top mini container, filled with a pale pink cream that she dabs on her wrists every now and then. it's the scent my grandma used to wear, and when mama found it again in a cosmetics catalog, she started buying it for herself, and it has maintained its place of honor in a pretty yellow vase ever since.

because scents are tied with memories, and good or bad, they stay ingrained in our psyche until, one thursday afternoon at five o'clock, they hit us straight in the heart and open the dam of emotion. it's the reason wives dab perfume on their husband's pillow when they go away for the weekend. why old ladies still cling to moth-holed, dusty sports coats. how babies know their mama in a sea of women.

i used to think that if i had to lose one sense, smell wouldn't be the worst to have taken away. but yesterday, with the sunlight twirling through my hair and the smell of hickory wood filling my little honda, my mind was changed.

18 comments:

Jennifer Rod said...

I just love reading your posts. I look forward to them cause they uplift my senses and make me feel fresh. Sorry for corniness, but this post, just took me back to those sunny, happy days. Thank you!

have a blessed Friday! :)

Meri said...

smell is definitely the most intuitive, or instinctual. It can remind you of or make you feel things that aren't even really in our awareness.
But when I smell something bad, I'm ready to not have my sense of smell haha!

Dacia said...

oh I'm a BIG smells/memory person! songs, too. loved this. have a great day, friend. :)

Dawn said...

Oh so beautiful....
I never thought of smell like this. It truly is a gift!
(unless you're changing a diaper;))
Have a lovely weekend!

exsoloadsolem said...

you are such a wordsmith. i can't begin to describe how completely you just transported me. one minute i was sitting at my harshly-lit desk in a cubicle maze on the seventh floor of an office building in Boston, and the next moment i was in the car on a country road, watching the quality of the sunlight change, filtering through the leaves and making motes of dust sparkle, tasting (it's more than a smell, isn't it?) woodsmoke...

it was lovely. thank you.

b. lee said...

my sense of smell is in overdrive * thank u for carrying me away again ~ ~ ~

Ann Nichols said...

So lovely... you are so right. Our olfactory sense is to be treasured... it's the still one that whispers to us of other times and future ones to be looked forward to.
Blessings!
Ann

Jessica said...

Smells and food always bring me back. :)

Amber Blue Bird said...

the smell of spring and impending summer is sweet. I cant wait until those smells start to invade my town

Thisisme. said...

Your post took me back to summers when I was a little girl, for some reason! I love this time of the year, when we have the whole of spring and summer before us. Everything is so new and fresh again.

little miss michelle said...

i looooove this blog. so much.

Brandi {not your average ordinary} said...

Some of my strongest memories are smells. I have one candle that reminds me of my grandmother, and I can smell lilacs or honeysuckle from far away. I remember one boyfriend had a very particular smell when we were dating. I also remember what the first guy I kissed always smelled like. And oddly, I now have this one hair product with a smell that reminds me of something, though what that something is I haven't figured out yet.

Ana* said...

After having a glaucoma scare two years ago I couldn't imagine my life without vision. but this post has me thinking.


Have a nice weekend, xo

Shalyn said...

I love this. Smell is such a powerful scent and it capable of bringing back so many great memories- I love the smell of campfire, barbeques, rain...so good! I agree, that is not the scent I would want to have taken.

becca said...

between your words and the picture i got swept away thank you

Wish Me Luck said...

your writing is so amazing. I love how you explained everything so well and described the smell and the memory.

The Many Colours of Happiness said...

I case I haven't told you (which I'm sure I have 100 times), your posts are amazing!
I know exactly what you mean. Smell has the power to bring back memories so clearly. I don't know what I would do if I ever lost it. I feel like I would lose so much.

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Summer smells are the best! my favorite is smelling the pool. That just means summer to me!

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