Jul 30, 2010

The Nose Knows & Remembers

I’ve had two powerful experiences with the sense of smell over the past month. One associated with a positive memory; the other with a not so wonderful memory. I’ll start with the good one first.

When I was little, my grandmother would drive me to the beach, and on the freeway off-ramp there was a particular smell I fell in love with. It was subtle and brief, but powerful and soul stirring none-the-less. Since the smell was on an off-ramp, it was hard to really saturate myself in it. I did my best through. It became an on-going experiment for me to determine the most efficient way to get the most of the smell? Take one long inhale, and go deep with it. Or take a series of short inhales and get a couple smaller ones in.

In my travels over the years, I’ve smelled this scent in a couple places, and although it’s always subtle, it never fails to soothe me down to the core. I’ve never known what plant was emitting the smell...that is until I moved to Denver. The smell is everywhere here! I went to REI in downtown Denver and was surrounded by the smell. It was wonderful to luxuriate in the scent, and not be concerned about efficiency or time management with my inhales.

I took a picture of the plant and sent it to my Shaman Priestess Friend in the Yukon to see what type of plant it is (she thinks it’s a species of Willow). When I was walking in the park next to my house, I smelled it again. I took a sample of the tree, with permission from the Tree Gods of course, and plan to take it to the Denver Botanical Gardens to determine the exact species so I can plant it in my yard.

When I cut the sample from the tree, I rubbed its sap into my fingertips, and walked around all day smelling my fingers. It was great. I want a perfume with this smell in it. I think I would make love to myself all day long simply through inhaling this plants juiciness. Willow, my lover. I smell you in. Thank you for your medicine.

And now, on to the other end of the smelling spectrum. I have a basement in my new house that is kinda spooky. I have traumatic experiences in my past that involve basements so I know that probably comes into play somehow. I had been in the house for 3 weeks and had not spent much time in the basement. I knew I had to go down there sometime, however, I was not inspired to spend any time down there.

As I was unpacking, I came across my Glade Plug-In wall scents. I decided to plug these into the basement, and let me tell you, it changed the whole ambiance down there. I realized that it was the smell more then anything that was triggering the spooky feeling for me. With that musty basement smell gone, the lower level of my home is much more inviting and I have started spending time down there decorating and getting it ready for guests.

Smell is a primal force in our life. It connects us to memories deep in the sub-terrian of our mind, and influences us in ways we are not even aware of. This month, I encourage you to explore the sense of smell in your life. What heals you? What repels you? How do you use smell as medicine in your life?

Feel free to share your comments and personal stories on this blog, I love hearing from you. Bright blessings to you all, and may this be a reminder to stop and smell your environment.