I love our neighborhood, but the closest grocery store has checkout lines that compete for the slowest in the city, if not nation. The lines are long and no one seems in any hurry to change that, so from what I've observed, most shoppers just adapt and use the time to catch up on alien abductions and other news of the rich and famous.
Last week, after a no-longer-than-usual wait for register #8, I was unloading my basket when I looked up and saw, as if for the first time, the row of Big Red gum in the register's candy display. Instantly, I was transported back in time. I could smell the cinnamon aroma and even taste the gum itself. My dad, who died when I was 26, used to send me sticks of Big Red and "lucky" pennies in the mail when my parents divorced and he was living in different places. He was ill for a long time and had very little money, but he wanted to give me something, and these were the things he could afford. Even as a pre-teen, I knew these tiny tokens were a symbol of his love for me and that he wished he could send me much more.
I wrote a few months ago about the sudden, unexpected death of our dear neighbor, Rogelio (www.smallboatbigwaves.com/sbbw-blog/lets-make-the-most-of-this-beautiful-day). Rogelio died at home, in the middle of the night, and his wife hasn't slept there a night since. Now, after a time of mourning and preparation, the rest of their four-generation family has moved out. There were too many memories in and around their house...many of happy times of togetherness and daily life, but too many of the shock, fear, and deep grief they experienced at the loss of their beloved patriarch.
A friend brought a sweet bouquet of Daphne odora to my workshop at the beginning of February, and another friend reacted instantly and with animation: "That smell! We had bushes of those by our front door when I was growing up...that smell always makes me remember that time, and I've planted the same in my own yard." In a moment, that friend left behind her current stressful, adult life and was reveling in a time from her childhood that was simpler and less heavy on her shoulders.
What are the sights, sounds, tastes, or smells that trigger memories in you? Who or what do they make you think of and what emotions do they bring about in you? I hope there's some sweet in there somewhere... xoxox
Long ago I was an English major. Though some may say my degree has been under-utilized, my love for the written word remains, and sometimes my words turn out okay.