Monday, April 17, 2017

Pilgrimage of Place 001

Smell and sound have a way to transport us to the past. Memory is married to our olfactory glands. Science explains away the mystic, but I feel there's a deep resonance between place and the spirit. The places we've been, that we've inhabited, imprint themselves upon DNA and move with us through time and space. Every now and then, something crops up. A snippet of scent raises it's head above the blowing yellow blooms of rapeseed and instantly we're back.

Back. Where?

To the place we first remember as HOME.

Yesterday we sat in the courtyard sipping when our neighbor fired up the lawnmower, bursting through our silent Sunday with a sputtering, coughing engine. Ah well. We do live in an area with old houses and not so grand yards.

Then I smelled it: gasoline and cut grass. Back, back I catapulted to early summer evenings when Dad would get home from work, put on a pair of shorts and ride the mower round and round until the yard was conquered. Gasoline and grass become precious incense. From fresh cut grass I progress to vinyl and chlorine because when Dad started cutting, the pool was already open.

Petrol and greenery; plastic and pool chemicals:

Frankincense and myrrh to a child.

Mom still lives in the house where the pool once was, where the lawnmower once stowed in the back shed, gathering rust and spiderwebs each autumn and winter. I can sit on the back porch and smell it again, when the breeze shifts and the ice clinks in my glass just so. The hum of the air conditioner becomes the old pool pump and I wait again, eagerly, for Dad to come home, mow the lawn, and make waves we could ride on an old, orange float.


  1. It's funny how a smell can transport us back.
    Now the smell of cut grass just makes me sneeze.

    1. Lol! Yeah, it can so that to me too, but I still live the smell!

  2. Fresh (and real) tomatoes and raspberries take me back to being a kid. We lived on an acre and my father grew everything. (Imagine my shock when I moved out and had to actually pay for fruits and veggies.)

    1. Oh I can imagine! We grew a lot of herbs, veg and fruit. I know now how much better homegrown/farm grown produce tastes!

  3. Ah, certain smells/scents evoke wonderful childhood memories.

    The smell of fresh linen and stove-top popcorn are amongst some of my favorites.

    Jen, I've just completed a book titled Shadow Of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. From the outset, it reminded me of your story Mysteries Of Death and Life. I recommended it to you on Goodreads.
    You HAVE to read this story!
    You WILL love it.

    1. It's been translated from Spanish.

    2. Yes! Fresh linens remind me if running through the drying clothes on the line and popcorn is always a happy smell.

      Oh that sounds lovely. I think I've seen that title but I nothing about it. Thank you for the recommendation! I'll definitely check it out!


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