Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A Dream While Walking


The woods are so heavy with the scents of honeysuckle and multflora roses that it feels almost narcotic. After the rain the air is thick with humidity, thick with scent, and it's like walking though a greenhouse. This is a greenhouse, nature's green house, and it's tempting to let the scent overwhelm me and nod off in it, as though I was drugged.

It is as exotic a scent as any found in Africa or some desert marketplace. No perfume on a counter can come close to it. It is the scent and the humidity together that creates this feeling of heaviness, that gives the experience such depth and complexity, like a Beethoven sonata.

Humans are not known for possessing much in the way of scenting ability, but I find that strong scents create emotion in me in a way that sights or sounds rarely do. Is that why we better developed our other senses? Perhaps the power of scent was so strong that it threatened to overwhelm our fledgling intellects, so it was better not to have it, not to give scent that power. But sometimes, in some places, at some times, I am reminded that its power is still there.

5 comments:

Nicole said...

I have never thought about this in quite that way, but scent can be one of the most powerful things that causes a memory or a feeling. Lovely post. =)

Cathy said...

Wonderful post! Love the smell of honeysuckle. Also the nectar too. when I was young, I would suck the nectar out the blossoms.

KGMom said...

Oh I love the smell of honeysuckle.
Your observations on humans & our use of scent is interesting. Of the 5 senses, smell is the most evocative of memory. Also women in general have a stronger ability to smell than men!

Carolyn H said...

Cathy: I never tried sucking the nectar out of honeysuckle blossoms (is there any special technique I should use?)

Nicole: i'm glad you enjoyed the post. I can still remember the smell of my grandmother's kitchen. Human noses may not be very strong, but the result of a familiar smell and where that came from creates a powerful memory.

KGmom: I didn't know women had a stronger sense of smell. That's a neat piece of information. Smell certainly has the power of pulling up very deep memories, often times something I haven't remembered in years is brought back into sharp focus and in great detail again simply by smelling something similar again.

MojoMan said...

I once heard that smell can pull memories from the deepest parts of our minds because it is the most primitive sense. I don't know about that, but there are a few precious aromas that can really take me back to very specific times and places many years ago.