Olfactory Sense

I was cleaning the bed linens this morning, which always is accompanied by a spraying down of the mattress with hydrogen peroxide & essential oils (no, not lavender; I don’t especially like lavender). Into the “warsh”, as my great-step-grandmother would say, with the sheets and mattress cover. I love doing the bed linens in summer because there’s nothing better than clean, line-dried linens on a freshly sanitised mattress.

Keeeeeripes, I sound like an advert from 1898 Ladies’ Quarterly.

So anyway, the linens are still in the “warsh”, but I ran upstairs to get dressed and at the top of the stairs was slapped in the face by an instantaneous memory of summer mornings at my grandmother’s house. Grampa would have been up and gone for hours, out in the field summerfallowing or picking rocks. Left at home would be Nama, likely doing a crossword with her coffee and cigarettes, and me, allowed to sleep in because spoiled rotten.

In the summers, when the windows were left open all night, her house smelled like clover, sweetgrass, and wintergreen. Wintergreen because “old bones”, she said. I’ve always loved the smell of “the rheumatism rub”. She’d have been out in the garden already for hours, or would have fresh pies cooling on the counter by the time I crawled out of bed at 7:30.

So when I crested the stairs this morning and was accosted by the smell of wintergreen and sweet clover bed spray, I was all filled up with happy memories. Weirdly though because the memories hit me before I registered the scent. Must have been that primitive lizard brain giving me a little gift. Thanks, primitive lizard brain! That was cool!!

cenobyte
cenobyte is a writer, editor, blogger, and super genius from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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