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Have you ever wondered how specific sounds or fragrances trigger memories, some good, some not so good? They can affect our moods for minutes and sometimes days. The sound of a mourning dove cooing for its mate in the morning reminds me of lying in my bed at home by a window when I was a child. There was a big Salt Cedar tree near where she chose to construct her nest. She would wake me every morning to her song.

There’s nothing like the air when it is ripe with the pleasant dewy fragrances of the post-rain afternoon. We had so little rain in the desert and it was such a welcoming aroma.

I received a most unusual gift in the mail recently. A friend of mine that grew up down the road from me was hiking out on our old homestead farm recently and collected some items he thought I might enjoy.

Here is a copy of his note to me.

Last weekend, Arizona had good rain and I love the smell of the desert after rain. My weekend normally includes some time hiking. After receiving your son’s Shannon’s memories of his time in the desert with his grandfather, I enjoyed it very much. I went to your childhood home for my hike. The smell of Grease Wood in the air was heavenly. In the bag I am sending is a small reminder for you of your home place on a rare rainy day. I also picked up some pottery chards that could date back as far as two thousand years ago, now you are holding a part of their work in your hand. You may or may not remember that the ground in some areas around the old home site is littered with pottery shards. Smell the bag before opening and you will probably enjoy it the way it is. If it needs to be rejuvenated perhaps, a little water may help.

 As Ever, Darrell

I cannot express how meaningful his gift was. He was right, As I opened the tightly closed bag, the fragrance of the Grease Wood bush took my mind right back to our back yard. Life was so simple and carefree back then. The older I get, the more I consider my memories to be treasures that I can pick through when I want to feel love and comfort. My late son’s favorite saying was that all of his memories were locked away in his “mental file cabinet.” When he wanted to recall something from the past, he would pause, close his eyes and mentally open the file that held the memory he wished to talk about.

I can remember my father-in-law sitting down near his barn for hours, puffing on his Peterson pipe humming sacred songs while peering out over his freshly planted garden. I often wondered what in the world he was thinking. Now I get it. The older I get, the more positive memories I visit. Most times I can feel a pleasant emotion I felt at the time I experienced it. Don’t forget to take time to stop and smell the roses; it may trigger good memories for you.

Source: Editorial: Triggers