Have you ever smelled a specific scent and been taken back to a different time? heard a specific time and flashed back to a another season of your life?
There are a few scents and songs that when they hit my senses, more often than not I jump inside my mind to revisit a totally different time.
When I smell a campfire it triggers one of two memories. The first memory is participating in a event that used to be hosted by dad’s church. When I was in elementary school and middle school, my family helped reenact large chunks of the Christmas story. The portion that I always participated in was the town of Bethlehem. This was a length of the parking lot that was set up to resemble the market during the time of Christ. There was a blacksmith, a baker, fruit and vegetable stand, potter, a well, a temple, and all throughout the town there were fires going to keep the townspeople warm because this event was always the weekend before Christmas and everyone was wearing costumes that were not intended for winter weather even in the south. I have very fond memories of sitting around those fires pretending we were in Bethlehem for the census that brought Mary and Joseph to the town all those years ago (“Have you seen the star?” “How lucky you are to have a place to lay your head tonight.”) The other memory that campfire smoke brings me back to is being in high school and going to bonfires with fabulous friends. These bonfires brought so much joy and laughter into my life. Both of these are such wonderful times in my life and I love randomly remembering them.
Another scent that is significant to my life is spearmint. Every now and again when I chew spearmint gum, I flash back to sophomore year. At the time I was dating a sweet fella who always smelled of spearmint. These are bittersweet memories to come back around unexpectedly, because though he is a great guy who is still my friend, the memories that come back are of us being close to each other and we have been simply friends for a long while. Sophomore year was also just an interesting year in general for me. It was my first year at the main campus of my high school (we have a separate freshman campus), my second year of marching band, and I thought I knew a lot about who I was (spoilers, I was wrong) because I was almost 16 which seemed like a pretty mature age at the time. Thus, there are ups and downs to reliving that period of my life, even briefly.
Along the same lines, the Ocean Eyes album by Owl City brings me back to freshmen and sophomore years of high school where I listened to that album All. The. Time. It was such a great time in my life. I met the people who were closer than friends for me for 4 years, because we spent close to all of our time together. I became a better musician through marching band; I had my first kiss; boys hurt me (for the most part unintentionally–high school is full of stupidity); I became very close to some friends and grew apart from others. All in all, there are mixed emotions that come back when I listen to that album.
Free Falling by Tom Petty is the ultimate trigger song for me and a solid sized group of people I know. This song was such a huge part of my senior year of high school that I cannot listen to it without it bringing up some memory from that period of my life. The marching band I was part of was likely the closest knit it has ever been during the 2012 season and during our show that year we all gathered in close and sang that song together. Some of my very best memories are part of from that year so I am typically very happy and nostalgic when I hear that opening theme. Unfortunately, there is always a little twinge of sadness as well because a guy that I graduated with who had a major part of that movement of the show took his own life after we graduated. All of us were so deeply saddened and, at least for me, now that song has a slightly different meaning woven into it.
There are other songs that bring me back to specific memories and certain scents that I do not come across as often and thus aren’t as pronounced in my mind, but I always love stumbling across them and thus old memories. Hopefully I’m not alone in having these sensory triggers. I’d love to hear about any triggers y’all have!
Here’s to a new month, even though I cannot believe it is already August.
P.S. I took an amazing trip at the end of June and am working on a post about that which will be out soon-ish. I also have a full-time job now, that I am loving, so I will also be writing about that soon as well!
P.P.S I updated my name, because I’m not a student anymore!! To be determined as to how much more of my personal life (state, school I attended, etc.) I’ll be sharing on here now that these things won’t link me to a specific campus where I live. Internet safety is important friends!