It is Day Three in our countdown toward Thanksgiving. I sit at my desk, just back from the gym and before jumping in the shower. Talk about smell! My gym buddies and I are pretty “earthy” right now, a combination of sweat and left over body lotion. The best part about exercise, I think, is the shower. My shampoo reminds me of tropical flowers and the soap makes me think of spring. The pungent odor of brewing coffee fills the air and outside, a breeze from the ocean carries a whiff of salt. There’s still the remnant of last night’s dinner in the air—apple pie coupled with vegetable soup.
Tomorrow, we’ll start filling the house with all the smells that signal the start of Thanksgiving cooking. But the best gift of smell comes in our memories. My grandparents home in York, PA had a distinctive scent that I can conjure up right now. I experienced it once before in an historic hotel in St. Louis. Ah, the memory. In fact, scientists claim that smell is on of the last memories we lose. Think of cuddling your baby, fresh out of the bath. How about sunscreen and coconut on a hot summer’s day? I remember the way Mom’s hair always smelled when I hugged her. Nana McDargh always carried the distinctive scent of Shalimar perfume. Sitting here, there are so many smells I can draw forth. What a gift. How empty life would be without the aroma of memories—even those that carry sorrow and pain. For now, I have had enough of ME. Off to the shower, wishing you a wonderful, grace-filled odoriferous day.