13. Ideas

Where I grew up there was a banana shrub in the backyard. I remember picking buds from that shrub and opening their petals to release a wonderful banana-like fragrance. I also remember that my grandmother had a honeysuckle bush in her backyard, and just like the banana shrub, it filled the summer air with a beautiful fragrance.  Another sweet smell, coconut, reminds me of summertime and the beach; I think of Pina Colodas, suntan oils, dancing and pretty girls. I love that smell.


I was somewhere between ten and twelve years old when the “Age of Aquarius” (the hippie movement) was in full swing, and I remember the surroundings during that time being full of various scents, primarily those of burning oils and incense. Yes, I was one of those kids taken in by all of the “hippie houpla.” But I never actually wanted to be a hippie; I didn’t even care about growing my hair long. I just liked the colors, the lights, the sounds, and yes, the smells. And I’ll admit it: I even had a little ceramic Buddha in my bedroom for burning incense. Oh yes, I remember well the scent of Aquarius.


A little earlier in life, when I was six or seven years old, our house caught fire. Thankfully, we were out of town at the time the fire started, but I distinctly recall the day that we came back home to inspect the damage. I remember entering the house and immediately being hit with a nose full of that strong, burning odor. And even now, the smell of burning wood will always remind me of that time. As odd as it may seem, I do, however, enjoy the smell of smoke from pipes, cigars and cigarettes. Tobacco has a masculine odor to me, and in a smoke-filled room, thoughts of my grandfather and some of his good friends come to mind.


Days 13-16 Guide


This weekend, open your senses in order to arouse the feelings associated with the various times in your life. What fragrances remind you of your childhood? Are there certain aromas that remind you of people or places? The key here is to ignite the flames of memory and open up new creative channels in your mind.


© 2005, Levi Hill

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