Tag Archives: flowers

Scent-imental

Petrichor….the smell of the rain.  I learned that word recently. With the surfeit of rain we have had here in the northeast, it has become not only a frequent visitor,  but evocative of one of those smells that lingers in my mind.  I also think it is a lovely sounding word.  It’s probably going to come up in the New York Times Sunday crossword at some point, so perhaps you’ll want to remember it as it rolls off your tongue.

My sense of smell is strong, both for the intensely foul things (think driving behind a garbage truck on a hot July day), as well as for smells such as  pine trees in a forest, that you can smell as you step on the needles, and wander into the deepest parts of a wood, the dampness holds the scent close.  The sad part of being able to smell all these scents, is that my FHB can’t smell them along with me.  He apparently, somewhere along the way, lost his ability to smell anything.  It seemed to fade away.  I was baking something quite fragrant, perhaps  cinnamon bread, and I was floating along with the smell as it wafted above me, I made a sound of contentment and delight. I was then asked, “What are you so happy about?” and I said “Inhale and take in the amazing smell!”   It was then, that he turned and said “I don’t smell anything” and we were both confused.  There are a lot of medical reasons he may have lost it, but it seems connected to an  overuse of allergy medicine, which is not a very romantic explanation, but accurate.  Smells are not able to be easily described to another person.  It requires my being a bit less effusive because it is so powerful on my end, but just annoying on his.

Let’s talk about flowers and freshly baked bread, not simultaneously.  There are some flowers, like delphinium, wisteria, and honeysuckle that make me feel nostalgic.  Something in a deep part of my memory responds to those flowers and I have not determined where it may have started, perhaps in another life, because it envelops me with such intensity.  It’s rather comical that most flowers make me sneeze since I stick my nose into the bloom, and yet, it makes me so happy in the moment.  I love lilacs, and lilies, but the strong scent sends me running toward tissues and away from the flowers.  I am highly allergic to bees, so that also creates another set of difficulties  since the smell is better as you get closer.

Food is a marriage of taste and smell.  I think coffee smells better as it is brewing than it actually tastes.   Freshly baked bread is probably fifty percent smell and fifty percent taste.  I am doing my research and will get back to you on that one.  There was a Silvercup bread factory that was situated in Long Island City, Queens and was right next to the No. 7 elevated train that went from Flushing to Times Square. That was the train that we took into “the city” a.k.a. Manhattan.  Silvercup was not a great bread. It was an enriched white bread that slathered with peanut butter and jelly did stick to the roof of your mouth every time.  But in the smell department, as you rode by, it was memorable and we would inhale as the train took a curve heading into the tunnel.  If I was transported back in time, it would be a smell that left a wonderful olfactory memory.  It’s been out of business for a long time but it is something that folks that remember.

Smell is the sense that protects us by warning us of fire before we see it and food spoilage.  When my FHB looks at the date on the milk, I am suddenly volunteered for sniff patrol.  A blessing and a curse.  It reminds me of the balance in the world of nature, which doesn’t seem to exist in the people run world.  The recent rain gives us the water we need and the smell that reminds of the dust that settles after a period of dryness.  Nature is so smart and is to be revered and respected.  Less so the people in the moment.

Thank you…you shouldn’t have

The art of giving is complex.  It is something that is along a continuum of small gestures to grand displays from one sparkler to the 4th of July fireworks over Boston.  As the saying goes that charity begins at home, this also applies to giving of a similar type, the gifts we give to ourselves.  I like flowers, not roses so much, as bunches of wildflowers in summer that I can buy for myself at a roadside stand, outside of someone’s yard,with a self service jar to put the cash and take the change.  Often times I will drive by a few driveways and consider a purchase, until I stop and get a bunch, wrapped in wet paper towels, provided by the gardener and a recycled plastic bag so that they will stay fresh as I head home. They are displayed in a variety of glasses or pitchers or sometimes a vase and bring me joy and comfort.  A few well spent dollars that make me happy.  Sometimes as I am pushing my shopping cart past the florist in the supermarket, I look for something simple that grabs my eye and another bunch of flowers, sometimes irises, if I am splurging, join the deli meat, bread, cat food, and paper towels and leave with me.

Giving to ourselves in some fashion, is feeding our souls.  It is part of self care and recognition that often we ourselves, know ourselves, and our needs (and sometimes our wants) better than anyone.  Sometimes it signifies a sense of accomplishment at the end of the work week. Sometimes it  is because I feel sad and flowers cheer me up.  This is an acquired ability, learned over time, and recognizing that in order to give to others, I needed to know how to give to myself first.  It is sort of the “if mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy” way of thinking.  Nothing selfish about paying attention to yourself so that when the going gets tough, you have some emotional reserve, in the form of something good you did for yourself.  Walking is something I give myself, which is  time spent alone, to come up with creative outlets and fodder for writing.  The blog is part of this, that I do for me. I share it because it allows me to interact through comments and connections in a medium that is comfortable and balances out the solitude of writing.

In a moment of retail therapy as it is commonly called, I will try on shoes (my weakness) and think about whether they will make me have happy feet.  Over time I have learned that comfortable feet are happy feet, and if the shoe fits and looks okay,and is comfortable, I will make room for another pair.  I try to ascribe to the buy a pair, give a pair dictate, but sometimes the remembrance of the occasions of the shoe purchase makes it a  little more difficult to say, thank you for your service, time to move along.  I have always been a giver of food, advice and time for others among other things.  I will always be that person and happy to do it, because  this, too,is a feel good thing.  When a bunch of flowers calls out to me, I am listening to my heart.  When some  very appealing shoes appear, I am generally then  having a logical conversation with myself about those needs and wants.  Sometimes logic prevails and other times the box of shoes and bouquet of flowers become a need and I give myself a gift.  It works out.  No looking back and just walking pretty.  Have a good weekend.