Sunday, May 27, 2007

Blast from the past

Sometimes a smell can bring you back to a certain time and place, almost like a time travel machine. The smell of baby powder can bring back an image of the first time you held your newborn in the hospital. The smell of lilac can take you back to the carefree days of your youth when you and your friends would bike ride down the lilac covered alleyways. Such smells can bring so powerful of memories that you feel yourself fully emerged in days gone by.
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A few days ago I bought a bag of nectarines that weren't quite ripe yet, so I left them in the bag to ripen up. Today I opened the bag and the strong scent of nectarine overwhelmed me. I was instantly transported back to the summer when I was 20 years old. Louisa was not quite 1 yet. I was standing on my Granny's back porch and my hand was reaching to open the door. Louisa was placed firmly on my hip. She wore a brightly colored sundress and a floppy hat that matched. As we walked in the door, the smell of ripe nectarine rushed up to meet us. My granny was stooped over the stove preparing dinner. She turned around with a big smile. Louisa wiggled in my arms as soon as she saw her Granny, and of course Granny snatched her up and gave her a big hug. Granny's little peach. I took Louisa back and walked into the living room to find my Grandad snoozing in his chair. I set Louisa down in the middle of the living room with some toys. I walked back into the kitchen and grabbed some dishes to set the table with. There was a pot of green beans cooking on the stove, and chicken baking in the oven. Granny was adding milk to the mashed potatoes. As I set the table, I could hear Louisa rummaging through her diaper bag and my Grandad waking up. I felt safe, warm, and loved. In that instant, all was right with the world. I was about to sit down for dinner with my Granny and Grandad, and share the love of my grandparents with my daughter.
In the background I could hear Hunter giggling. My time travel had ended. I was wooshed back to real life, standing in my messy kitchen. I looked into the living room where Hunter was being licked by the puppy, hence the giggling. I took one more big wiff of the nectarine, feeling that warmth for just a little longer.
Life is good now, but there are definitely days that I would like go back to when my grandparents were here, sitting in their chairs, telling tall tales and playing with the little ones.


kateandjona said...

I love when this happens! The smell of apple pie, or a turkey roasting in the oven, or a mild pipe tobacco takes me back to another time ... a time in which I often wish I could remain.

Kim said...

What a wonderful memory! I felt like I was there with you - great description!

Amber said...

I am so sorry you miss them so much, I am glad that you could go back there even if just for an instant. You did a great job describing all that!

Jenn said...

The sense of smell is a passage way to times ago. I love when I smell something that reminds me of times gone by. Man, that made me sound old. lol.