|The best sign of the trip!|
There are days when something will spur a memory. It could be a smell, a sight, an address, a song. The list goes on and on. Perhaps it is the sight of a burnished autumn leaf, gently falling to the ground against the brilliant blue of the sky that takes you back to time when piles of leaves beckoned to be jumped in.
It hit me today as I opened a fax at work. It came from Fort Benning in Georgia and I was suddenly transported back to a trip my family took in September of 2007. It was the first plane ride for my youngest, and probably the first my daughter will remember. The air was humid, hot, and we were tired from the red eye. Something as small as the address on a fax cover sheet had the power to bring back delightful memories and twinges of sadness for me, of a trip we took years ago.
|This is Nigel's reaction when the plane started to take off!|
|Abbie is old hat at this!|
There is a certain smell, chemical in nature that hits me occasionally reminding me of time spent in cold concrete houses, space heaters, and thick wool sweaters. The smell comes from propane tanks, and though here, more than a decade later, I rarely smell it in my everyday existence, I will find my memories taking me to a mildewed heaven where I learned more about myself than at any other time in my life. I will taste ravioli and white sauce, a milenesa breaded to perfection and my soul years for those dear friends I have lost touch with over the years, all because of a smell.
A song from the late ‘80s, early 90’s will strike discord in my heart. It reminds me of times when choices and associations weren’t always the best and I wonder how I made it through largely unscathed. Other songs bring with them nights of giggles, shopping cart races, band trips, and newspaper parties.
When Daniel and I married, the reception center was interested in a sensory experience. Fresh flowers adorned the tables, with lavender and tiny orchids to evoke a scent that would remind those in attendance of our nuptials when those scents wafted to their noses in the months that followed. I don’t know how well it worked for those well wishers, but for me, I see lavender and I smile. I want to grow bushes of lavender in my yard because it reminds me of love, or at least the day when I felt as though I could burst with it.
We are a sensory people. We like to touch, smell, taste, hear. The sight of freshly fallen snow and the aching quiet that seems to echo along the street are sensations I look forward to ever winter. The twinkle of Christmas lights against the black night, or orange gourds and autumnal leaves are sure signs of an impending holiday. Add to that, the scent of freshly baked pumpkin pie, or the steam rising off a batch of rolls, and my stomach starts to grumble at the thought of a Thanksgiving feast to match all my wildest fantasies.
My children take after their father. They are touchy people, snuggling, kissing, hugging, touching. They aren’t quite as happy as they could be unless they are touching someone. Last night, my little guy came into my room, crawled in bed with me and stuck his cold feet on my legs. When I asked why he wasn’t ensconced in his own bed, I could hear the smile in his voice as he replied, “You’re warmer!” I became a mommy sandwich for a bit, touched on both sides and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Where would we be without our sensory memories? I am sure I would forget a few of those friends, or moments in my life if there weren’t something there to job me to a certain place and time. Perhaps tomorrow, I will see the address of someone who will transport me back to Uruguay, or a candle that will indeed spark the holiday season in my heart. I can’t wait!