We all have moments in our life that come back to us as brief flashbacks. Not the major milestones, but those small moments that make up a lifetime. I have noticed lately that they happen at the weirdest time and are usually brought on by some outside influence.
The other day I was at a friend’s home and she was using Dove dish soap. The aroma of that detergent set off a memory. POOF - I was taken back to my Grandmother’s kitchen, a sink full of dishes after a family meal. The kitchen, my Grandmother standing next to me, the soap smell combined with the grease aroma from the fried chicken all hit me as if I were actually taken back to that time. Snapshots of the family gathered together for a holiday, the men going off to hunt, the women congregating in the kitchen.
On the back of our property in Georgia stands a grove of Hemlocks. On a breezy day, if I stand there and close my eyes, POOF - I am taken back to my Grandparents farm in Southern Ohio. I am taken to the grove of Hemlocks on a neighboring ridge, the sweet smell of the pines hanging in the air as my sister, cousins and I climb the trees and play the day away.
When I am close to a lake and a breeze comes across, as I feel the warmth of the day and hear the lapping of the waves on the shore, POOF - I am immediately transported to Lake Erie. The summers of my youth were spent on the Lake. Quick snapshots of us fishing, running through the park, eating ice cream at Tony’s.
Sometimes these memories bring to mind simple moments like a picnic in the yard or helping my Dad work on a car. Sometimes it’s a quick flash of sitting at a brother’s sporting event or holiday surrounded by family.
The other day I was in the dentist’s office and he had a small fan aimed in my direction. I closed my eyes and POOF- I was transported to the top of a hill behind my Grandparents farmhouse. I sat on the tree stump out back and looked out over the back hills. A cacophony of color shouted out, deep reds, bright yellows and vibrant oranges, the colors of fall. In my mind, I tilted my head back and felt the cool air tickle my face.
It seems these glimpses of my youth come more frequently as I get older. Maybe they are the gifts God gives us to remind us of this wonderful thing we experience called life. Sometimes…it’s the little things.