Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thankful for My Senses.

"The sense of smell can be extraordinarily evocative, bringing back pictures as sharp as photographs of scenes that had left the conscious mind."
~Thalassa Cruso, To Everything There is a Season, 1973

You know how smells and sounds have the ability to instantly transport you to a particular time and place? You know, the sound of a seagull calling overhead or the smell of your old boyfriend's cologne or the salty/sunscreeny smell of skin after a day at the beach. I've been thinking about that and how wonderful these memory-invoking experiences are.

A few weeks ago, as I was heading to bed, my windows were open and floating along the breeze was the sound of the distant train. Trains. They remind me of spending the night at my Grandpa and Grandma's house. Particularly Christmas time. My brother and I spent countless (alright, you could probably count them) Christmas vacations at Grandma and Grandpa's, sleeping in the old blue bedroom. Shepherd always slept in the bed against the wall just below a window. Always feeling the air was too stuffy, he'd have the window open, despite my pleas to close it and keep out the cold. To appease me he'd keep the curtains closed, but stick his legs or arms underneath the curtains to catch the cool night air. Although I shivered in my bed at times, the open window allowed the sound of the distant train to filter in my mind all the more easily. Now the sound of trains takes me instantly to the feeling of Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa's, a kind of anticipation of something great just around the corner.

Then just the other day, when the weather started getting really cold (thankfully, it's back to regular Fall weather for a little while now), I walked outside and smelled a smell that instantly took me back to Lithuania. It was instant, I tell you. The smell of wood or coal burning in fireplaces around my neighborhood filled the air. I didn't think people burned coal around here, but somehow the air smelled just like I'd stepped outside my apartment in Lithuania. Oh how I love that smell. I wanted that smell to linger with the same intensity it had when it first hit my nose. That would mean the memories would linger. Lithuania holds so many memories that just make me smile and feel warm.

So yeah. I'm thankful for my senses. I'm thankful that they can transport me instantly to a memory, which otherwise might not flood my mind nearly as often. Even if it's only for a moment.


Lindsay RC Wilson said...

The sound of trains remind me of Grandma & Grandpa's house too. Also, the cawing of crows.

eclaires said...

Also, the smell of gardenias.