Category Archives: lilacs

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Transporter.”

Tell us about a sensation — a taste, a smell, a piece of music — that transports you back to childhood.

I’m sure there are many smells that I could come up with from my childhood: The smell of mom’s cigarette. The smell of urine soaked clothing after a walk home from school (the walk of shame). The smell of Mom’s cooking and baking, always served an hour later than I needed it.  Oh that long hour!

And there are the smells and sounds that evoke mixed feelings: those of a hot summer night that ended way too soon. It was still very very light out and the summer day was not spent, as far as I was concerned.  I was perhaps five years old. Mom had cruelly (in my eyes) insisted I go to bed. I was crushed! How could she make me go to bed already! I remember distinctly telling her no and throwing an uncharacteristic tantrum. But somehow she over-rode my logic and overpowered my resistance, and there I was in bed. I cried and cried, wiping my eyes on the hem of my light cotton PJ’s. The fact that they were relatively new did nothing for my sorrow.

And then the sound hit my ears: that soft meditative drone. Shortly after that, the smell of fresh cut grass and gasoline. My tears turned to sorrowful singing to accompany the sound. How devastated I was! And how put-upon! Had the song “Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child” not been yet written, that is what I would have been heard singing. Eventually, all combined led me to lie down in reluctant peace, and dreams, forgetting about my “horribly cruel” mother.

Somehow in my later years the sound of the mower, the smell of the grass, continued to be associated with peace, and a little bit of  longing. Dad was somewhere out there, all was well.  I could let go of my sorrows, and sleep.

I challenge my readers to do a similar exercise; would love to read your thoughts.