Monday, March 9, 2009


A smell journal? What the heck?

I have a blessings journal that I keep, add to, and pull out if I am feeling low. In it, I write down not only my blessings, but things that make me laugh or smile, nice people I meet, just all sorts of happy things. It is my tonic when I need a pick-me-up.

Today, during that sacred dog walk -- I was getting intoxicated by the smell of orange blossoms, and remembered an Israeli friend of mine who was taken by the smell of a tangerine tree in my yard, which brought all sorts of memories flooding back from her youth in Morocco and Israel.

I don't have any memories of orange blossoms -- I just like the delicious smell. (Although I used to work as a legal aid attorney in Bradenton, Florida, home of Tropicana, and the other end of the orange juice process was pretty stinky -- ergo, even the orange has a duality.)

My richest memory stimulated by smells is that of pine forests and my very special Aunt Mary Emma. She was an eccentric old girl, living alone in a small, cozy cottage in the middle of a pine forest. We would turn off the main road by the large, round Coca Cola sign and after we parked her big old car (I was very little, but it did seem like a very large vehicle) we would walk together down a path, crunching pine needles under our feet and the aroma was rich and clean. Her cottage was like a play house for me - all sorts of special things to look at and of course, a basket of coloring books and crayons, scissors and paper dolls. She would then give me a manicure and pedicure (she was a beautician) so my nails would not snag her silk (yes, silk) sheets. My treasure from those days, besides the rich memories, is a little black, cast iron Scottie Terrier door stop which sits on my stairway. It was a special time, in a special world for a little girl and her eccentric aunt. Pine smells bring it all back.

Pause for a moment in your day, and think about a memory that rushes back to you with certain a certain smell. Sit with it and savor the moment.

I am writing Pine Smell in my Blessings Journal.
Go forth with your nose in high gear!

It is the same aunt, in the same cozy cottage, in the same delicious pine forest, who killed my parakeet when she was bird sitting by giving him an enema with an eye dropper thinking that he was constipated. Enemas were her cure for everything and as kids, we hated to be sick when Aunt Mary Emma came to visit with her enema bag. The mere thought cured most of what ailed us. Again -- scratch one up for duality.

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