Saturday, May 28, 2011

Don't Forget to Stop and Smell the Lilacs



I love when the scent of something hits you and immediately you are transported back to a place in time.  Well, I love it for the most part.  Unless it's Outrageous shampoo and then I'm transported to a very hungover moment in time when I was 18 (oops, underage!) and was washing my hair with that very pungent smelling shampoo and just about wretched upon my toes.  God, I hope I never have to smell that horridness again.

Enough about that heinous stench...let's talk about roses.

The smell of roses takes me right back to sitting at my Grandma Belle's kitchen table.  One particular day she had a vase of pretty peach coloured roses and she encouraged me to smell them.  I remember stuffing my nose right in that bouquet and inhaling the flowery, sweet smell.

Oh my, how I miss that wonderful woman.

Campfires...ohhh, the smell of wood burning takes me back to when I was just a wee little girl who spent what seemed like a lot of time in the tiny town of Goderich with my great Aunt and Uncle and my favourite cousins.  They had a huge wood burning fireplace in their basement....so many of my wonderful childhood memories remain in that house that was just sold last year.  I hadn't been there in years but it made feel so very nostalgic when they sold it.

The smell of fresh cut grass is reminiscent of summer days running through sprinklers and jumping in my kiddie pool full of freezing cold water straight from the hose.  Eeee!

Tomato sauce cooking with green peppers takes me back to the first house I remember living in when my Mom would make her famous Chicken Cacciatore.  I can almost smell it now...

Bacon frying on a cast iron pan mingling with the scent of instant coffee will always remind me of my Dad...he always makes THE best breakfasts.   Despite his taste in coffee.  ;)

Fried onions remind me of hitting the local fair as a teenager...riding on the Himalaya with the music blasting, screaming and laughing, stomach hurting from eating a ton of cotton candy and laughing too hard.

The cologne Emporio by Armani hits me in the heart.  That's what my husband wore when we first started dating.

Euphoria by Calvin Klein....right back to my wedding day....what an amazing, perfect day that was.

The inexplicable smell combination of newborn baby, mixed with spit up, rice cereal, poop, baby powder, bum cream, laundry detergent and baby shampoo lingering on my boys heads, tummies and blankies.  I could smell that for the rest of my life and be happy.

Ahhh the sweet smell of their breath...inhale, exhale.

Heaven.

Stinky dried starfish will forever be emblazoned on the tip of my nose when I think of my best friend Erin's wedding...but despite the putrid smell of the things it also brings to my mind the happiest memories I've had in a while.  For I got a bit of me back during that time spent on my own in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  And best of all I got to see a heart warming, loving union of two spectacular souls.

And then the smell of lilac bushes in bloom during the first months of spring.  Although it doesn't bring to mind any memories for me it does for my husband.  He still picks them for his Mum when we visit.  The scent of lilacs are reminiscent of his childhood and his mother.

Yes, beneath his boisterous, manly exterior my husband is quite the sentimentalist.

Which takes me to about 3 years ago, our first spring in our new home.  Just around the corner from us there is a lilac bush.  When Adrian and I would go for walks I would always stop to breathe in the beautiful scent.  When he got a little older I encouraged him to smell them as well.

Two days ago it was just the two of us out for a walk (well, he was on his bike riding furiously along, his strong little legs a pumping).  We crossed the street to where the lilac bush is and he quite literally jumped off his bike in mid pedal and ran to the bush.  He stuck his little face in there and sniffed away...saying "Ahhhh, that smells goooood!"

My heart swelled and I felt utter happiness taking a mental picture of his little face tipped up to that sweet smelling cluster of violet.

And then he said:  "It smells like cheeeese."

Ah well.

The moments don't last forever.

But I hope that the times the scent of lilacs wafts past my son's nose on future spring days he too thinks of me.   Maybe I'll even be lucky enough that he will bring me home a sprig or two one day while visiting me with his family, just as he picks me bouquets of dandelions now as a 3 year old little boy.

Because getting flowers from your children...no matter how old they are...that never gets old.


Although this was not take the day of the bike ride...
he continues to stop and smell the lilacs.

2 comments:

Truthful Mommy said...

Awww, I love it! All those smells that remind us of people and places and times that we loved. The lilacs remind me of my mother. She has always loved them and every time she passes one she stops and smells them, and tells me the story of how her grandmother had them at their house in the Virginia mountains.I have a bush in my garden and every spring I tell the girls of my mothers grandmother and they love it.
What a wonderful post and what an adorable little man:)

Erin said...

Awesome post, soul sister. Loved it! You brought back so many memories (thanks for the Outrageous reminder....bleeeccchhh). The only thing you neglected to mention was "Aqua di Gio". Sniff. I still wear it. Remind you of our younger days???