Advent Day #11 – Smell

Inhaling deeply, through the nose.   A breath meditation and a sensory celebration.  Smell is a marvelous gift!  Pleasurable, informative, playful and useful — something for which to be grateful as we count our Advent blessings. 

You Smell

Well, at least I hope you do.  I knew a young man who lost his sense of smell after a motorcycle accident.  I had periods of olfactory disability when I had chronic sinusitis.  I found those days flat and uninteresting.  I have always enjoyed the stealthiness of fragrance; it can surprise you and delight you and make you suddenly aware as if playing a game with you.  “Wow!  What is that?”  Your mother’s favorite brand of perfume, the beach grass from your childhood vacations, the star jasmine that bloomed beneath the porch.  It’s amazing how specific smells are.  Many animals identify their own offspring by scent alone.   So today, I am challenging you to become aware of and appreciate your sense of smell.  What is this season’s particular redolence?  Cinnamon.  Allspice.  Pine.  Onion.  Sage.  Vanilla.  I stopped at a spice shack the other day to buy Chai Tea Spices.  The place was a heaven of smell.  Pungent pepper and cinnamon.

There are place odors that are painful.   Hospitals and vets’ offices, for instance.  The stairwell of the parking structure in a big city.  The landfill.  Gary, Indiana in the late ’60s.  You know a few, I’m sure.

Garlic.  French fries.  Chocolate chip cookies baking.  Okay, now I’m just getting hungry.  Breakfast and then drive to Chicago for the Lyric Opera: Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss.  Dinner with Emily at the Algerian crepe place.  Never been there before.  Looking forward to smelling that!

You Smell

Well, at least I hope you do.  I knew a young man who lost his sense of smell after a motorcycle accident.  I had periods of olfactory disability when I had chronic sinusitis.  I found those days flat and uninteresting.  I have always enjoyed the stealthiness of fragrance; it can surprise you and delight you and make you suddenly aware as if playing a game with you.  “Wow!  What is that?”  Your mother’s favorite brand of perfume, the beach grass from your childhood vacations, the star jasmine that bloomed beneath the porch.  It’s amazing how specific smells are.  Many animals identify their own offspring by scent alone.   So today, I am challenging you to become aware of and appreciate your sense of smell.  What is this season’s particular redolence?  Cinnamon.  Allspice.  Pine.  Onion.  Sage.  Vanilla.  I stopped at a spice shack the other day to buy Chai Tea Spices.  The place was a heaven of smell.  Pungent pepper and cinnamon.

There are place odors that are painful.   Hospitals and vets’ offices, for instance.  The stairwell of the parking structure in a big city.  The landfill.  Gary, Indiana in the late ’60s.  You know a few, I’m sure.

Garlic.  French fries.  Chocolate chip cookies baking.  Okay, now I’m just getting hungry.  Breakfast and then drive to Chicago for the Lyric Opera: Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss.  Dinner with Emily at the Algerian crepe place.  Never been there before.  Looking forward to smelling that!

Steve & I made challah last year for our Christmas bread pudding