This I Believe

Beth - New Haven, Missouri
Entered on June 29, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: family, nature

? I believe in the evocative power of smell. So, I guess it’s no surprise I have a life that has

a lot of smells.

Smell can take you back to the past, project you into the future and ground you in the


The smell of a farm and barnyard reminds me of summers, holidays and weekends my

brothers and I spent at our grandparents’ farm and the experiences we shared that bond us as

siblings. And I remember the delight my grandparents took at our presence.

I can walk into a fabric store or pass an auto body repair shop, each with its own

distinctive smell–the businesses my parents owned when I was a child– and I think of those two

people, younger than I am now, burning the candle at both ends to help me get where I am today.

The future is there when I’m watering small tomato and pepper plants for our garden. I

am amazed at how they smell like the fruits they will produce in the months to come, and I

imagine the culinary pleasures that will be ours.

When I walk into our work building, I know by the smell, whether it is garlic chives,

basil, peppermint, rosemary, lavender or thyme our employees are transplanting. The work is

getting done, commitments will be met, the bills will get paid.

Riding my bike on a rural road in August when I can smell the corn growing reminds me

that right now, right here, I am strong, healthy and lucky.

I open the door to my house, filled with the smells of my everyday life–dog, wood smoke,

cedar, sun-dried laundry, sheep’s wool, fresh herbs, soup simmering on the stove, my husband

Mark’s bread in the oven–and I think how much is here: food, safety, comfort, pleasure, purpose

and love. The past, present and future–the smell of home.