Things Remembered

They say that our sense of smell is most closely connected to our memory and I’m inclined to believe it when I find myself transported on the wings of some transient olfactory flight of fancy and I remember…

Hairspray, cold cereal, and the sweet disinfectant of thrift store suit jackets: getting ready for church before the sun comes up.

Ancient carpet, Pledge furniture, ink and paper of worn hymnal pages, and just a hit of the sour scent of guilt: any one of the church buildings from which I’ve come and long since gone.

Sawdust, pine boards, and summer evening sweat: the “Tabernacle” where camp meetings where held in in a wooded lot when I was a child.

The chemical tang of Elmer’s glue, laminated cardboard of stories and songs, and Kool-Aid served without irony: VBS.

The smell of weariness and expectation, the “foreign” and “exotic” smell of salsa in a casserole in the fellowship hall, the dust and oil of much-handled artifacts from the display tables: missions conference.

What of fundamentalism does your nose recall?

87 thoughts on “Things Remembered”

  1. The smell of my parents’ pastor. I rode 8 hours in the cab of a truck with him one time, and that’s when I knew hell was real.

Comments are closed.