Fumes of Relaxation

Cassie - Gunnison, Colorado
Entered on November 11, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe

Fumes of Relaxation

I love to come home after a long day of classes and track practice and light a stick of incense. Its aroma and smoke move through my nostrils and bring a soothing sensation to my mind.

I believe in the relaxing scent of incense. I am one of those students who takes more than the required amount of credits to be considered full-time. Aside from classes, I am an athlete, an officer for a community service group, a member of three other clubs, and manage to hold a part-time job. Did I mention I still have to maintain a social life? The perfume of incense carries me away from that.

It’s the aroma releases. What I love about it that ranks it above candles is that it releases its scent through visible smoke. The smoke is wispy and penetrates not just my nose, but my skin. I can feel it seeping into my aching muscles, taking away the tightness I feel from running.

It moves through lungs; inhale deep and you feel completely mystified. Exhale and it is as if you released any stress or burden you have been carrying.

When using incense, I simply sit on my futon, letting the curls of smoke engulf me, letting it lower my shoulders and ease my eyes closed. But it isn’t just the relaxing sensation that the smoke brings. It’s the release it allows.

Incense has been used by religious groups for many years as a way to send prayers to God. Believers thought that if they put their prayers into the smoke, it would float to God. I can relate to this practice. Sometimes I do find myself talking to God. I believe it’s because the scent of the stick has cleared my mind of all other thoughts.

But I also find myself sending positive energy. I think about my best friend who recently fought with her boyfriend, and send out a good vibe to her. I think of my boyfriend who is struggling in a class, and I release some positive energy to him. I can’t always be there for those I love; the smoke can. It travels.

Have you ever watched incense burn? It is fascinating how the smoke gets sucked into the air, but takes a few minutes to disappear. That’s how I know it travels. It absorbs into the wind and is brought to whoever needs it. Often, it’s people like me: those who have busy lives and need to forget about things if only for a few minutes.

I burn a stick every couple days. It keeps me focused while helping me breathe. In and out; in and out.