The sense of smell is an amazing gateway to memories.
My baby smells like a bird.
Odd, isn’t it? Well not really, or perhaps it’s just that I have gotten used to it somewhat. My first baby smelt like a bird, he grew out of it, but the small one still smells like a bird.
Not just any bird, and not the messy, droppings part of a bird.
My babies smell like baby cockatiels, covered in pin feathers, living in a cozy shoebox while being hand raised with special baby bird formula.
Quite specific isn’t it?
I don’t think the smells are exactly the same, obviously my babies smell like other things, like soap for example. But when I kiss my babies silky curls my nose smells something more than shampoo and suddenly I remember holding a hungry, squaking, little bird in my hands, trying to feed it with a syringe, or a teaspoon bent into just the right shape.
The memory is vivid.
I can remember the prickle of the pin feathers, the extreme softness of the feathers that had finally erupted from the pins, the funny way the little neck would move when being fed, and the cute way the excess food would get stuck around their little beaks.
I remember how much I cared for them. Just because my babies smell a little different.
The other night at rehearsal I had another set of memories dredged up by my sense of smell.
There is a man in the musical I’m in that smells just like my Poppy did. He smokes the same cigarettes. Whenever I am near to this person, I remember sitting on my Poppy’s lap.
I remember happy times.
I really loved my Poppy, it was really nice to be reminded of him. I wish he hadn’t smelt like those same cigarettes, maybe he would’ve been around to meet his great-grandchildren.
Nonetheless, I am thankful for those memories, somewhat forgotten but, just a sense away.