While slogging on autopilot through my morning chores after a poor night’s sleep, I took a moment to lean against our teenaged paint horse, Toby. I buried my face in his cinnamon mane. I inhaled deeply. And I felt myself transported.
Back through the years, visiting a horse named Charlie on my way home from school, long green grass brushing my jeans, Charlie’s sorrel coat shining in the sun and warm beneath my hand and giving off that distinctive, glorious horsey scent. Wanting him to be my horse. And then…
Back to the farm again, and a same-old morning subtly changed by my brief, aroma-inspired trip.
Isn’t it amazing how a scent can do this–plunge you through time and space into half-forgotten memories and feelings?
It happened again as I plucked dandelion petals for dandelion wine: their faint musky fragrance took me back to my daughter’s childhood–and my own. Gathering sunny dandelion bouquets to turn our chins a buttery yellow or to peel the stems and giggle as they curled into funny curlicues when we dropped the dandies into a bowl of water.
And again, pausing to savor the scent of a towering Douglas fir that I walk by each day to feed the animals. Like Ebenezer Scrooge, I dropped into Christmas past–butterflies in the stomach, twinkling tree lights, love and joy. What an odd feeling to return to April and spring flowers!
Here’s another example: Although the lavender sachet I keep beneath my pillow to help me relax into sleep may not always work as intended, its sweet fragrance excels, if I let it, at flying me back to Tuscany. To a medieval hilltop village of warm golden stone, a lavender garden alive with butterflies and bees, and a hammock where I gently swing, at peace.
And so it goes, from one scent to the next.
Where do your scent-inspired travels take you?
Thanks for reading,
PS. My friend Bethany at A Writer’s Alchemy, who took on the challenge of writing a poem a day in April to celebrate National Poetry month, inspired me to write my first poem in years (yes, I confess to writing many angsty poems as a teen). The poem was about–you guessed it–how a scent transported me back in time to my first kiss. I might have shared it with you here, but I somehow misplaced it (really!) and can’t quite capture it again from memory. Perhaps it’s best, for your sake 😉 If you want to get your April poetry fix, head on over http://awritersalchemy.wordpress.com/author/awritersalchemy/