"I know it's silly and may be a little vague, but when I was a kid, I used to regularly spend the night at my best friend, Christina's house. They didn't have air conditioning, so during the summer, the windows were almost always open. In the front yard of her family's house, there was this massive, old magnolia. It was the perfect climbing tree. And it put out these massive blooms, I mean bigger than dinner plates. Even the buds were bigger than my hands. So we would be lying there in the dark with the smell of magnolia blossoms and this nightingale would fly up to the window sill every night. Christina had it trained to respond to her whistles. She would whistle a little tune like "Baa Baa Black Sheep" and the bird would whistle it back. That's what I want. I want the smell of magnolia blossoms and a nightingale that comes to visit me every night."
I guess part of what doomed the relationship is that he couldn't understand where I was coming from on that. For me, times of contentment are always wrapped up in smells and sounds. I'm a very sensory oriented person. It's just like I remember my childhood times with my mother by the smells of spaghetti sauce and chocolate chip cookies. When we're over at my parents house and my mother starts baking, I feel like I'm six years old again. It's a complete throw back to a simpler time.
What did said ex boyfriend want? A big house. Enough money to do as he pleased. He was much more typical in his wants and desires. I can't be like that. I don't want things. I never really have. I'm probably one of the least "thing" oriented people out there. What I want, what I always want, is experiences.
Spring means the smell of freshly turned dirt and the feel of said dirt under my fingernails. Summer is the sound of sizzling meat on the grill and the smell of roses in bloom. Autumn is the sound of crunching leaves and the taste of nutmeg in the pumpkin pie. Winter is the dampening of sound, all sound, that comes with a blanket of snow and the smell of wood burning in the fireplace.
It's odd that I'm like this because I am naturally a very visual person. I have a thousand and one words to describe any given view. But those perfect times, those times when everything is good and safe and right, are always wrapped up with sound and smell. Unfortunately, with the advent of adulthood and responsibility, frequently it is difficult to feel as though everything is good and right with the world. It seems as though some weeks I could kill for that sense of safety. In those times when life is pure chaos and everything is just creating more stress, I bake cookies. I don't do it to eat them. I actually have very little sugar in my diet. I do it for the scent. (My daughter loves these times as she knows she gets to have almost as many cookies as she can stand.)
I think most people complicate life. We can have as many fancy things as possible and still have a life vacant and void of the experiences that can make us happy. On the flip side, we can live a very simplistic life and be completely contented. It's not a matter of things. It's a matter of choices. I think we become far too distracted by things, far too wrapped up in their care and maintenance. Me? I just bake for the smells and I think it's a fine way to be (and my daughter really likes it too).