Aroma from the past

"Early childhood memories can be evoked by many triggers, of which one of the most powerful is a particular smell."

I found that quote on a psychological website but when I went back to locate it to give credit I can't find it, despite looking at my browser's history. In any case, this posting is about such olfactory memory, but in this case it is in reverse. It wasn't a particular smell that evoked a memory, but rather memories that caused me to remember the smell, and thus to reproduce it. Confused? Then, dear reader, read on.

I was raking leaves, or rather blowing them and then mulching them in my mulcher, which reduces them to small particles which I can then put in my compost or spread out under bushes. So, I was doing this and began thinking about raking leaves as a young boy in our back yard which had somewhere near an estimated thirty trees. Forty five years ago there was no need to bag leaves to put out for recycling. Instead everyone burned their leaves. A fifty five gallon drum, or a galvanized garbage can was the customary container, with holes punched in the sides to allow air flow. Once the leaves were ignited, you would just keep adding more leaves as the fire reduced them to ashes. When the leaves were damp you could create great billows of smoke as the wet leaves temporarlily smothered the fire. On brisk fall days or evenings there was always the wonderful smell of burning leaves in the air. Those were the memories that came back to me as I did my leaves, and I longed for that smell.

So, what did I do? I got a terra cotta flowerpot out of the shed, filled it with leaves, and lit it. A leaf caught and went out with glowing embers remaining. I tried again. Still no luck. I got a small piece of paper, shoved it down along the inside of the pot and lit that. That caught and then the leaves. And the smoke; the wonderful smoke, and then fire. I added more leaves. This was the smell I remembered. After two or three pots full of leaves I doused it with water, ending my foray into my past via the olfactory path.

I know I will do it again next year.


Do Over

I wasn't sleeping good last night so my mind was producing some random thoughts which I thought I would share with the multitudes. (multitudes would be defined as a number smaller than five) In the spring I made some observations about "springing ahead" with the clock, so it is only appropriate I make a similar observation when "falling back".

When you are awake in the middle of last night and at two o'clock you turn your clock back, it becomes one o'clock. Then an hour later when it is two o'clock again, do you turn your clock back again? And then when it is two o'clock...... You can see where this is going, right?

And what happens when someone is born at 1:30? Which 1:30 is it? How is it differentiated? And on their birthday, how can they celebrate the exact time of birth if DST isn't changed on that day that year? This question would hold true for any official event.

So, next year I am going to stay awake so I can have that one hour to do things over again. Or I will write in this blog, saying it is 1:10, and then an hour later say it is 1:10 again.

Maybe with all this off my chest now I will be able to sleep better tonite.