Thursday, May 26, 2016
The Smell of Hot Grass
I had a flashback of lying on the lawn at the house where I grew up, staring at the sky through the big leaves of a horse chestnut tree. It's a wonderful feeling of freedom and safety. A hot afternoon in summer with no responsibilities or deadlines. Before puberty, before I stopped running through the yard pretending that I was a horse or exploring the darkest jungle of my neighbor's hedges.
It's just a snapshot of an instant in time. I couldn't tell you what came before or after that moment. But the smell of sun-heated grass sent me back to that lovely memory.
Smells can be a very strong trigger for memories. Sometimes the trigger is just for a feeling, not even an image. Or sometimes a person. Certain aftershaves will always remind me of specific men. The smell of french fries and ketchup can send me back to the boardwalk on a New Jersey beach.
A reader once told me that she was surprised by the many smells in my book. She didn't think she'd read another book that mentioned them. I guess I am a scent-oriented person. Maybe that's why I have allergies because my sense of smell is very acute.
And now I'm off to make sure that my current work-in-progress has enough smells.