We spent the day at a funeral today. My hubby's grandmother passed away at the age of 82. She had dealt with a lot of pain for the past few years and her husband died almost 6 years ago, so it really was a blessing for her.
There were big vases of lilac branches everywhere. These came from Grandma Fern's beloved lilac bushes in her yard. The smell was so sweet and it permeated the church (in a good way).
Smells can be powerful memory triggers. For some reason, the smell of lilacs brings me happy memories. I never grew up with lilacs in my yard but I remember when I was first married we lived in a neighborhood bursting with lilac bushes. We lived in a basement apartment in a neighborhood full of beautiful homes. I would walk down the street each morning to catch the bus to school and work and the smell was powerfully intoxicating. I always vowed that I would have a beautiful yard someday where I could sit in a swing and smell the lilacs. I had completly forgotten that dream until I smelled those branches today.
Eighteen years later, I still don't have a lilac bush, or a swing to sit on. My yard isn't very private either. I still do dream of my own "Secret Garden" (love that book!) filled with fragrant lilacs. Of course I would want oodles of other flowers as well - and a gardner would be nice !
Smells are powerful. They can bring memories (good or bad) right up to the surface. Next time you have an olfactory experience, take a minute to jot down the feelings it evokes.