2020 Daily Writing Challenge: October 6

And now, from Jo Hawk, the 2020 Daily Writing Challenge, for October 6!

A new month, a new try, a new kick at the can for writing here every day.

I am taking a Creative Writing class, and am free-writing every day with themes posed by our instructor.  So, I am going to post my writings here…lucky you! Today’s prompt:  Think of a scent, such as an ingredient for a meal, a perfume, or perhaps something from the outdoors or nature, that you associate with a person who has played an integral role in your life. Write a scene that explores the intertwining of smell and the resonant memories you associate with this person.

Oh, man. This is a hard one. I am trying to think of a scent that I remember at all, let along associate with someone.

There is a food smell which I can’t really pin down, a roast or gravy or something, which sometimes reminds me of Kevin’s mom. She was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Just accepting and kind and giving of herself right up until the end.

To give you an example, she and one of Kevin’s aunts would deliver meals on wheels to the “old” people who were younger than they were. She sold Avon, but it was really more about visiting with people who always became her friends. And she took so many pictures all the time, of family dinners and other get togethers, or when she visited people, so many that when Kevin and his sister were going through the boxes and boxes of pictures after she died, they reluctantly threw out tons of them because they simply had no idea who was in the pictures.

It was poignant, seeing all those memories disappear, but memories are ethereal anyway. They are really only or most important to the person who has them. They are never the same for a home else. Pictures were her way of holding those things in memory. I am beginning to document some things that way too, different things. Daily things. Things that strike me. Both in pictures and in writing. But I don’t think I will ever take pictures of people the way she did, nor do I think I will ever be able to be as kind and accepting as she was.

So every so often I catch a whiff of a scent that reminds me of Isabel and I think of her and her dinners and her kindness and of Christmas Eves with her and her family, and of a New Year’s Eve when Kevin and I took her to a Japanese restaurant in a snowstorm and how she liked the place so much, she took everyone there for a meal shortly before she got sick. I don’t know what the smell is, but it is powerful enough to take me there, and I am grateful for that.

Posted on October 6, 2020, in Writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Thank you for sharing. 🙏 Isn’t it interesting how a scent can pull us into a different time?

  2. This is beautiful, Emily. Scent….it is weird how one little whiff can conjure up a memory…..

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