Precious is the child who breathes in the sweet scent of God’s Creation.
Have you ever walked into a friend or relative’s home and smelled homemade bread baking? Where does that smell take you? Does it take you back to when you were 6 years old at Grandma’s house? Have you ever noticed a perfume or cologne a stranger was wearing and went straight back to an old boyfriend or a friend from long ago who used that same scent? Does the smell of a baking cake in the oven take you back to all the birthday parties in your home when you were a child? Does the smell of burning firewood on a chilly winter evening outside take you to warm and cozy memory from years ago snuggled up by the fire with your Mom holding you close?
It’s amazing how our senses can trigger our brains to memories that at that moment become so vivid but before that were completely forgotten. It’s not only smells for me it’s songs. Some songs when I hear them I literally go back to when I was 5 years old. Others send me back to my teen years with friends. When I hear the Phantom of the Opera’s All I ask of You, I am in my new husband’s arms dancing our 1st dance at our wedding reception. Oh the power of Church music. How Great Thou Art sends me back to my Grandfather’s funeral and all the pain of missing him and being surrounded by family. Come Holy Spirit takes me back to 8th grade when I made my confirmation. Of course Silent Night reminds me of every Christmas Eve I ever had.
It’s as though our minds just store everything, even though most of the time we can barely remember someone else’s name. Yet when you catch a scent drifting in the air or hear a song suddenly the memories all come flooding back to you.
It makes me wonder what will my children remember? Will the smell of those roses from the garden be brought back to her mind when Anna smells her wedding bouquet on her wedding day? What scents in our lives are that powerful, hopefully it won’t be the smell of burnt toast. Maybe the sweet breads I love to bake. Probably their grandma’s perfume. The songs, I hope the ones we dance to in the living room when we get a little crazy like I like to Move it and Tim McGraw. My children already have memories of hearing Be Not Afraid and On Eagles Wings from when they were little because I sang it to them as babies. The songs they listen to with their friends now will be their “good time oldies” one day and take them back to childhood.
We should thank God that He created us with the ability to remember without even trying. To transcend us to another time and place. To be able to embrace for that moment and appreciate where we have been, who we have loved and what we have experienced in our lives.