No photographs to share with you today, only scents as I rode my bike through the roads of Narragansett, RI. The aromas were deliciously intoxicating. The magic of pedaling along through a slightly misty early morning fog with the sun elusively trying to burn through. It transported me not only from place to place, but through time itself, taking me to years, decades, a lifetime or two ago when everything in the world appeared hazy, slightly blurred, yet so crisp and clear that the scents became imprinted upon my very being. Some stand out alone; the honeysuckle, a sweet intoxicating balm so strong in my memory so powerfull, that on any given summer day it could just knock me over. Wild roses, lilies, wild grapes, viburnum, the beach rose, wild blueberries; most plants and vegetation I can’t even name and don’t need to. Each one a star, each one contributing to the mafnificent, mingled, perfumed chorus. All along the rural, seashore roads the bouquets seemed surely like a hit of a high inducing drug. The fog itself had a certain essence and I could see it’s curtains of life roll along as I pedaled, creating an ethereal quality to everything.
These are the sorts of things you can’t see in a picture. You can’t smell a memory in an image no matter how clear the photograph or masterful the artist.
These are some of the things that my Mom gave to me. She gave me a lifetime of memory in the shape of my olfactory sense, perhaps without ever knowing it. I think of her always when I smell the honeysuckle. I think of how she taught each of seven kids to very slowly and gently, pull the stamen through the stem end of the flower, stopping just short of all the way through. How, if we did it very carefully, magic would happen, and there it would be in all it’s long awaited glory, a small, single, clear, glistening bead of pure pleasure, the nectar.
It’s true that money can’t buy everything. It sure can’t buy an olfactory memory like that and it can’t buy a Mom who would take the time with every single one of her seven children to instill many such memories and values. There isn’t a day that passes that I don’t want to pick up the phone and call her just to catch up. I’m thankful for her unending love and so very thankful that there are still ways in which I can connect with her on a spiritual level.
Sometimes it’s just as simple as going for a foggy, early morning bike ride.
July 18, 2017