(image from Desktop Nexus)
Out of our five senses – sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell, the one that has the most power over us is our sense of smell. Certain odors can evoke memories of our childhood, our first date, our last visit with a now-deceased family member, or some other significant time in our lives that is frozen forever in our minds.
The scent of brewing coffee gets me up on those mornings when I would rather lay in bed and let the cold winter day pass me by. The warm, yeasty smell of baking bread evokes the taste of my late mother’s homemade golden wheat bread slathered with butter. The rich, heavy perfume of peonies triggers memories of my grandmother’s living room and the black and white picture of cabbage roses hanging over the mantel. The odor of frying bacon reminds me of camping trips, damp sleeping bags, burnt hotdogs, and the crackling of pine branches in the fire circle. The odor of dried hay takes me back to my childhood on the farm and my faithful (but cantankerous) Appaloosa horse Nikki.
Our five senses (some people say six) are very valuable to us – we would never voluntarily go without any one of them. But the sense of smell, the one that would cost us perhaps the least anguish to lose, is also the sense that can bring us the most joy.