In an effort to help end my writers’ block I’ve started checking out the daily prompts offered by Word Press. They often don’t appeal to me and I have yet to see one that’s gotten my fingers to fly across the keyboard however the following suggestion has been floating around in my mind. They suggested that we look at the connection between touch and memory. How the feel of something can take us back to a certain time and place.
I thought and thought about that idea and all I could come up with is that I don’t really think that’s true for me. My strongest sense memories all seem to be related to smells.
As a kid I had a weird little habit. I did not suck my thumb or have a blankie, I sniffed the collar of my nightgowns. I don’t know, it just comforted me. Every night I would fall asleep in bed while contentedly sniffing my nightie. Smells continued to loom large in my life, both pleasant and repugnant.
As a matter of fact I have learned to recognize the scent of an approaching migraine. All of a sudden I’ll smell cigar smoke. No visual haloes for me.
When I was running a lot there was one particular spot on my longer runs that in and of itself was a reward for running. The scent of pine needles so sweet and so strong that I would immediately be transported back to summer camp. I would take that route just so that I could reach that aroma.
The smell of strawberries, always pleasing, takes me to my old habit of collar sniffing. I can still remember being a little girl and checking out the different smells captured in the flannel of my nightie when I came across the scent of strawberries. My best sniffie moment ever. I know, combine that with my crush on Mr. Clean and my nerd girl reading habit and I think maybe I was kind of a weird kid. I’m sitting here laughing to myself as the realization just now hits me.
A freshly cut cucumber equals summer plain and simple.
Lemons mean Love’s Fresh Lemons perfume and the 1970’s.
Babies. Nothing smells as good as a baby’s neck. That’s the scent of love and motherhood.
The day old scent of smoke from a fire on clothing is summer camp cookouts, fresh smoke from a fire is the quintessential scent of winter. A cold, cold winter day has its own smell that will always remind me of our first winter here in the north.
Scratch and sniff storybook paper is the memory of snuggling with and reading to my niece about 27 years ago.
I could go on and on but I don’t want to bore you.
So tell me, is it touch or smell for you? Or is it something else completely?