The Aroma of Memories

My mother was a stay at home mom.  She would take me with her when there was an errand to run. Sometimes, my friends would go with us, too.  We would pile up in the back seat for the ride.  This was in the late 1960’s before fancy child seats or even seat belts.  The cars were big and probably armed with more steel than most Army tanks.  We spread out on the seats, the floorboard, or the area above the back seat underneath the rear window.  As I recall, any real estate near the backseat windows was the most coveted.  If you could reach a window crank, you had political clout.  You had the power to crank the window up or down as you so desired.

A few miles from our home, there was a railroad bridge over the main road.  Like a tour leader holding a microphone on a tourist bus, my mom would announce to us anytime we were approaching the bridge.  That was our ten second warning to quickly crank the windows down and get ready to take a deep breath.

The railroad bridge was directly adjacent to the local bread factory.  At unknown times of the day, the air around the factory was filled with the precious scent of freshly baked bread.  It was the most wonderful smell.  Even a half century later, I can still remember the divine aroma.  There was a moment of anticipation as we passed under the bridge.  Are they baking right now?  As we came out on the other side of the bridge, we all took a collective and deep breath.  If we were lucky, we were rewarded with the wonderful smell of fresh bread.

Some years ago, the bread factory was torn down and replaced by a retail shopping center.    My brain tells me that I can’t smell non-existent bread.  My nose tells me that the air is full of the scent of fresh bread.  How can this be?  I believe that my heart has the answer.

The nose can be just as powerful as the brain.  The sense of smell can instantly transport us to another place and time.  Happy scents trigger happy memories that permeate the entire body and soul.  Feel the comfort of a big sensory hug.  Listen to your soul and your nose today.  Are they reminding you of a cherished memory?

Today, the old bridge is still there.  I go by there sometimes.  Just being near it triggers the happy memories of my mom, my friends, and the aroma of freshly baked bread.  The bread my be gone, but the aroma and the happy memories live on.

Via Daily Prompt:  Scent

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