reply to post by AboveBoard
I love your imagery as well! Here is a piece I wrote and post a while back on ATS.
Cottonwood and Clay
I believe I was four years old and standing in my grandmother’s yard in Newport, Washington when the fragrance of her lilacs stopped me in my
stride. They were in full bloom. Her entire yard was ringed with a profusion of colors and blooms. I stood and inhaled the beauty and somehow even
at four I sensed I was in a magical place. This was my first memory of beauty that I can remember.
I was still around four years old when I encountered my second intoxicating fragrance of nature. I lived in Shelby, Montana and I was playing beneath
the giant cottonwood trees in front of our house. There had been a hard rain the night before and the trees were still dripping. With each drop they
brought forth a sweet smell of cottonwood and clay. I can still smell it in a spring rain.
As I grew older there became a number of fragrances that touched my soul. The smell of the gardenia perfume my grandma wore, the smell of fresh baked
bread, the smell of fresh brewed coffee and the smell of fresh mown hay all took their places in my being.
When I was old enough to go to school the smell of new books and crayons captured my attention. Even the chalkboard holds memories and who could
forget the smell of that paste some of you also ate. I am sure I would remember if I had.
I can remember living in northern Idaho and playing with my friends under the boughs of great cedars and pines. We would crush the needles between
thumb and forefinger and inhale the mystery of healing into our souls. We felt so protected beneath the canopy. I still find myself crushing pine
needles whenever I am in the woods.
When I was older and began fly fishing the local streams I began noticing the plants that gave up their fragrance along the stream side. The pungent
skunk cabbage and the delicate ferns each providing balance to the bouquet. I can remember the streams by their individual fragrances. Some were
musty and others sweet and some smelled like damp granite.
Then age, war, and a deviated septum took their toll. Oh, I still smelled things but they didn’t penetrate to my soul. Along with those wonderful
fragrances there have also been many smells that I have tried to forget. That just comes with living.
I know smells are associated with our strongest memories. I believe they often can also help define our lives. When my first child was born, I held
her to my nose and inhaled her scent. I imprinted her into the deepest part of my being. I did the same with my son and I believe their smell
triggered a part of my being that will always love and protect them.
As you have read this, I hope it stirred in you some of those fragrant memories. If you haven’t done it yet, crush some pine needles and inhale some
life. Someday, when I am close to death, please let my children lean down to my nose and let me inhale their fragrance once again.