This morning I smelled the smell of rain on fresh green leaves and I was transported… Transported to walks in the Wisconsin woods with my Grandma Sterling, transported to swinging on the tree swing outside her humble log cabin, and transported to the day my brother fell through those fresh green leaves, out of the tree house and broke his leg.
Smell has the ability to transport us like none of our other senses. Smell is so powerful it has been said that, in a relationship, you can work through just about anything, except for an offensive smell. This summer there were many smells that crossed my nose, and here is where they took me…
The smell of vanilla scented sap oozing from a warm Douglas Fir… transported me to the summer I backpacked in the Sierras with Julie, Arlene and Dennie when we all got lost and independently bush-whacked our way to the road where we hitchhiked back to our cabin and found safety and each other once again.
The smell of a warm granite slab… transported me to my rock climbing adventure in Yosemite with my first boyfriend, and my realization that I prefer to share life with someone rather than live it alone.
The smell of the salty ocean air… transported me to my morning walks on ‘my beach’ in Laguna collecting sea glass and stepping into transformation.
The smell of patchouli… transported me to a mis-matched relationship with a girl who shared my name and the realization that… I don’t really like patchouli.
The smell of my mom’s tuna casserole… transported me to my walk home from high school through the elementary school yard, my mouth watering as I detected that first waft of what’s for dinner.
The smell of a warm old Chevy, with musty seats and cigarette butts… transported me to riding in the car with Gramps, listening to Vince Scully call the play-by-pay for the Dodgers on a Sunday afternoon.
The smell of white musk… transported me to my first true love and to that feeling of disbelief and excitement you get when you realize someone actually loves you as much as you love them.
The smell of a wood burning fire… transported me to my rustic cabin in Vermont, warmed only by the aging wood stove and the unwavering love and acceptance of my ‘adopted family’ there.
The smell of a wet dog… transported me to my beloved golden retriever Summer who, after a swim at White’s pond, loved to roll in the dirt until she was unrecognizable.
Our senses are what connect us to the world around us… but they also connect us to the world inside us – to memories stored, captured in a scent, ready to transport us in a simple, unsuspecting in-breath.
If we will allow it, that same simple in-breath connects us to the scent of something greater. When perhaps our transporting takes us away for too long, or when our thoughts become trapped in what was or what could have been, it is then that our breath becomes our salvation, as in a simple deep inhale, we are able to detect the scent of magnificence, wonder, and beauty in this present moment… the scent of life itself, inviting us to let go of the past and step into a sweeter, fuller, more fragrant experience of life than we have ever known.