Monday, June 4, 2012

Smell is the Strongest Sense Tied to Memory

They say that smell is the strongest sense tied to memory. That is to say that a familiar smell can whisk you away to another place in time. I was visiting a friend. This friend has a particular tree that smells amazing. I have no idea what the tree is but the smell is one I've come to associate with friends and company. We take its branches to freshen a room or a car and maybe to remember the good times we've had together.

This line of thought has brought me to other familiar flowery smells from my past. The fragrances I associate with my grandparents- with my childhood. Oddly enough I have a particular flower for either set of grandparents. My father's mother loved gardenia. It's a preference inherited by her children and grandchildren perhaps as a way of remembering her and the home they grew up in.

I spent most of my time as a young child at my mother's parents' home. One of my favorite pastimes was playing in the wisteria in the yard. I love the shape of the flower even before it blooms. I love the feel of the soft fuzzy crush of a bud in hand. I love taking shelter under the canopy of vines highlighted by the most delicate fragrant ornaments dangling overhead. 

All of this would be capped off by another smell. Grandmother's cooking. After a hard day at play, she was always sure to fill you up for the next day spent among the flowers.