Have you ever noticed how certain scents can draw you to another time and place, almost working as a sort of time machine? There are scents that take me back to times especially important in my life, bringing comfort and peace. And then there are those, as well, that take me to a time that I would never choose to revisit, but that also remind me how far I’ve come and that bad things do, indeed, pass.
For instance, it took me a very long time to be able to smell the exhaust of a car, even while running, when I didn’t get nauseated and feel as if I were going to faint from a very painful memory. I avoided running by busy streets and held my breath as best I could when a car would pass, and continued to run with the weight of a heavy heart.
Thanks to a loving, gracious God, when the smell of exhaust invades the air around me these days, I have the strength to continue on in thanksgiving that not only did I get through that most painful time, but with a less troubled heart and gratitude for the life I have.
On a lighter note, some of the most pleasant time-transcending scents I would love to capture and bottle are:
The Forrest–It brings me back to the times our family used to go into the woods to cut trees for firewood for cold Minnesota winters. I can almost hear the fire hungrily licking the logs placed in that old barrel stove as they crackled and popped.
The Lake–Mmmmm…when I smell lake water in the air, I can almost feel the sun on my face, the little fishing boat rocking gently, and hear the waves lap softly at the shoreline.
The Ocean–The smell of that sticky, sea salt air makes me feel the sun warming me through and through, relaxing every muscle, and I can almost feel the silky sand between my toes and the breeze in my hair.
Rain–Inhaling slowly and deeply of a fresh rain, the earth’s fragrant aroma, makes any burden just a little bit lighter, my mind just a little bit clearer.
A Freshly Opened Box of Crayons and a Container of PlayDoh–I can never get enough of these. They bring so many beautiful, fun memories of being a child, creating and sculpting anything my mind could imagine.
A Library or Bookstore–There’s nothing like the smell of a room full of books. Opening a book, inhaling the scent of the pages can almost take me to a magical land. I enjoy my kindle, but the printed page is my first love.
Fresh Brewed Coffee–Brings joy to my heart and soul, reminding me of the invaluable and cherished conversations had with friends, solving the problems of the world, truly connecting, and the beautiful reunions with my sisters and my mom when I get back home to see them. Friends and family truly are the heartbeat of life.
All is Grace.