Wednesday, August 12, 2009

familiar smells

Years ago I was somewhere where they poised the question

"If you had to give up one of your senses which one would you give up?"

As i sat and pondered that question i could not really come up with one that i would willingly want to give up. Each one holds such an importance to me and while there are times i do take them for granted I am equally thankful that i have each one of them.

There is no way i would want to give up sight--I love to see the beauty and color around me--
Hearing allows you to communicate and hear the small soft sounds of nature--and touch....I love texture and am such a hands on person--one of my favorite things to do is make bread and feel it in my hands--or dig in the garden and run my hands through the soil. The there is Taste--uMMMMM--NO WAY--we all know how i love food--i would rather not eat than eat bad food--and taste goes with SMELL--when you can't smell, food it does not taste as good. Now there are times when you would prefer NOT to smell something but through smell it makes you aware of your surroundings. I have found that often smell is something that invokes memories. It is amazing how you associate certain smells with a place or a person or even the most random of memories...there was always a smell of evergreens at my grandmothers house--when i catch a whiff of that it brings back such a flood of memories. Some smells remind you of the Holidays--some remind you of a meal that was shared--and some remind you of when your children were little (those tend to be the smells we want to forget) and then when i am with my brothers there are smells that remind me of road trips-(again not the pleasant smell you really want to remember)

“Smell is a potent wizard
that transports you across thousands of miles
and all the years you have lived."
Helen Keller

Yesterday as I was driving I had the windows open and i caught a smell--the most random of memories came back with this smell. In my mind it was the smell of death...OK maybe that is an extreme description but allow me to explain--because in reflecting back and knowing me now i am surprised i even had anything to do with this. I am not one who likes reptiles, or fish or amphibians and even birds freak me out--i can swim in a lake or stream or ocean as long as i don't see what is swimming around me and especially if i NEVER come in contact with said animals--I do not like to touch fish unless it comes cleaned and filleted from the store. I can not or better spoken WILL NOT hold a snake,lizard or frogs--they just creep me out--I can look at them through glass but even then i am not getting too close--so with that being said I am shocked i had anything to do with tadpoles as a kid. We lived near a large open field that was great for bike riding and exploring and digging huge holes and when the rains came there was a pond and in this pond lived---you guessed it tadpoles. We (my little bro and I) filled and entire wagon full of tadpoles and brought it home. Did i not know that all those tadpoles would become frogs--did my mom have any clue that her backyard was going to be overtaken with hopping amphibians in a few short weeks? Or i should say would have been taken over if we hadn't gone on vacation...there is this thing called evaporation that doesn't bode well for a metal wagon filled with thousands of tadpoles....when we came home from vacation and went to check on our tadpoles and to see if any had mad the transformation to frog hood, we found instead there was this SMELL--the same smell i smelled yesterday--the one of dehydrated tadpoles caked on the inside of a wagon--I am pretty sure that was not exactly what i was smelling yesterday but boy did it brings back the memories of that carnage as a child. I remember that we never quite used that wagon again...there are certain smells that just don't come out--even when scrubbed many times....
“You're only here for a short visit.
Don't hurry, don't worry.
And be sure to smell
the flowers along the way.”
Walter Hagen

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