My car smells like a really awesome mixture of essential oils and extra garlicky pico de gallo.
I’m going to pause for a moment to let you really imagine that particular blend.
Yup. Super awesome.
Smells have, historically, been a huge memory trigger for me. Sure, places that I pass by or stories that I share with friends also serve to bring up images from my past, but smells? Smells are the big one.
I grew up in the Green Mountains of Vermont, and even the sensory memory of the heavy, green summer smells of humid, moss and fern-filled shadowy forests bring me smiles as I sit here in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
The bridges of the bike paths by my house are treated with *something* that smells exactly like the summer docks down which I would frolic on the Muskoka Lakes of Canada.
(Apparently I am craving some summer smells tonight…)
The smell of roses shoots me back to childhood memories of my parents going “out” and my brother and I staying in. My mom wore Tea Rose perfume, which, to me, smells of possibilities, warmth, and the promise of a return.
And (this is my favorite) don’t even get me started on how amazingly wonderful the bottoms of my dog’s feet used to smell. Have you ever noticed that corn chip smell? I promise you I’m not completely nuts. If you have a pup nearby, go ahead and take a whiff of his/her feetsies. Now, I’m not sure if all dogs’ feet smell like corn chips (I take it as a Fritos smell, myself), but I know that my brother’s dog’s feet smell exactly like my old dog Kobi’s feet used to smell. We’ve been sans Kobi The Dog for a few years now, and those happy tail-wagging memories flood on back when I smell me some doggie feet.
Smelling Mike’s feet… not so much.
When I opened the front door of my car this morning, heavy-eyed and coffee in hand, I was struck by the afore-mentioned awesomeness of essential oils and extra garlicky pico de gallo. My first reaction was one of confusion, like, what on earth is in my car? But then I remembered; I had book club last night. I had the delightful opportunity to gather with five of my dearest friends, share stories, laugh loudly, drink wine, and eat delicious food. I made burritos, and Mike had graciously made his all-star pico to accompany the meal. The kazillion cloves of garlic had left their temporary mark in my car, but the memories of the previous night’s community left a far more permanent smile in my heart.
By the end of the day today, as I left school and headed down to the studio to teach yoga (ya know, gotta rock the two job thing), the pico smell was almost gone. The essential oils were winning the olfactory battle, and things were returning to “normal”.
So, yes, last night’s smells are fading, but last night’s memories are etched in my mind. I know that the next time I smell an extra garlicky batch of pico de gallo, I will picture our book club, together, sitting around my uncle’s big table, filling the air with our laughter, discussing this crazy world, and sharing our lives.