The sniff test

On the weekend, my husband came home with fresh mint leaves and the second he opened the bag, I was instantly transported back to my childhood home with the image of my mother bending down to snip some sprigs to use in her tea. I could see it as plain as day, like she was standing right in front of me. I stopped my husband from putting them away just to give myself a chance to linger with the scent a little longer.

How many times are you taken back to an old memory, or a place from your past, just at the faintest whiff of something near by? Smells have the power to conjure up horrible moments and leave us winded by despair, or just as powerfully to lift our spirits with the memory of a glorious, fun moment, or maybe even remind us of a long-lost friend. Amazing.

I started thinking about some of my favourite smells:

  • coffee grounds – I could stand all day with my nose in a bag. Is that weird?
  • a campfire -who doesn’t love this one. Instant peace.
  • fresh breeze by the lake – Makes me feel invigorated and powerful!
  • freshly baked chocolate chip cookies – Might have to make some of these today 🙂

At the thought of each of these smells, more crystal clear images from my past invade my mind – my first job across from a Timothy’s coffee shop, summer camp romances, canoe trips – (OK maybe the chocolate cookie one isn’t really from my past. Just a lifelong love of mine.) Anyway, as I start giggling to myself on my trip down memory lane – my husband looking at me like I’ve just smoked something – I thought what a great and easy thing this can be to lift my spirits whenever I’m feeling crappy. Just shove my nose into a bag of coffee grounds and voila! Instant happiness. How sweet is that? No intense meditation needed.

So, I guess my simple desire is to find a way to smell these smells more often…just might freak out my kids, my husband or my friends if I start sniffing their hair or something a little more intensely in my attempt to better capture their smell 🙂

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