It’s not something you can plan for. How often do we consciously draw it in and say, “I’m going to file this away for later!” But it happens when we least expect it.
Few things are as evocative as a sudden scent.
Our sense of smell has amazing effects on our memory, doesn’t it? The smell of, say, rain setting dust after a hot summer day, the unexpected odor of some familiar comfort food being prepared, a waft of something dead, the scent of a baseball glove, a whiff of a perfume or cologne that recalls a person long missed, … can trebuchet you into a memory long untapped. They can be sweet or make you afraid all over again. They can bring smiles or tears with a force that cannot be rivaled. It is as if you aren’t seeing or hearing your actual present for a moment. You are instead somewhere and somewhen and sometimes someone else.
This morning I had one of these flashbacks.
The candles in the chapel were down to the nub, the brass followers practically touching the metal holder. There was no extracting the followers, so I pulled the waxen glob and the hot metal out of the candlesticks and took them to the house, whereupon I wrapped them in paper towels and put them on a sheet of foil in the oven.
When I opened the oven again, …
I was 12 again at the kitchen table with my grandmother making Ukrainian Easter Eggs.