Scents of the Past… Re-Remembered

Five minutes down the road this morning with a minivan full of kids, I realized that my hoodie smells… funny.

I’d picked it up from a pile in the garage… you know the kind… piles of stuff we pulled out of the van the last time it became evident that little man was grinding cheerios into oblivion with every step on the floor mats. In any event, it was handy in the moment that I decided the morning sky was a bit chill. I don’t think it had been in that pile for long… we accumulate discarded cheerios at an alarming rate… and yet it had picked up this smell somewhere.

And it occurs to me that it’s the smell of… band-aids?

All day, little whiffs of that sterile smell have been catching my attention. Something in me can’t just dismiss it, and yet I can’t decide whether I love the smell… the sterile smell of a mother’s kisses and ministrations… or whether I hate the reminder of how I used to carry band-aids in random pockets… “just in case.” It’s the odor of hidden sin.

But I just keep catching it when I move… sometimes snuggling in and breathing deeply… knowing that the sense of smell is the one sense that is most directly hardwired to memory…. and I think to myself, “I remember.” I remember where I’ve been and who I’ve been. And yet, there’s that lovely new piece of me… anchored securely in the Spirit… which first thought of a mother’s love… of tears on a little boy’s face and the magical way that a kiss and a band-aid can instantaneously set his world right.

This is where I want my thoughts to go when I smell this clean, loving scent… so I’ll nuzzle in, and think of my boy…. this incredible creature who’s turned my world on it’s head and made so many past hurts entirely irrelevant. Each time I choose this, I strengthen and reinforce that connection… the memory I choose over the memories I had.

This is how I will glorify God and thank my maker today… for the transformational power of love.

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