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Three On Thursday 9/30

Known Unknowns by Robin Chapman

Garden, I call it, our beautiful volunteers — faces of phlox,
waving arms of goldenrod, monarda’s tight fists —
still here after the hottest, driest two months on record,
all their lower leaves withered, sere, height lowered,
many young ones dead; and now at last the rain,
perfume rising up of soil, leaf, flower — if gratitude
had a scent, my skin itself would join in calling the bees.
And who is to say that this is not the scent of gratitude?
That exchange that might bring rain back again.

Mary shared this poem the other day and I was completely awestruck by the phrase scent of gratitude. And I couldn’t help but contemplate, what is the scent of gratitude to me? We’ve blogged before about favorite scents but the scent of gratitude feels more meaningful than liking the smell of roast chicken. It’s feel more elusive and way more powerful. So, today, for three on Thursday, I’m going to share 3 times I have experienced the scent of gratitude this week.

  1. The first time was actually early Tuesday morning. I rolled over in bed and pulled the covers up tighter around my neck and snuggled up to Dale’s back.  And I took in this deep breath and all I could smell was that unique scent that is my husband. Not cologne or shampoo or anything manufactured but just the scent of him. A little bit of soap and a little bit of sweat and a lot of the outdoors. It’s a heady combination to me and I swear I’d recognize it anywhere. It’s the scent of gratitude in that it smells like home and love and safety and everything that is good in my world.
  2. The second time was Tuesday afternoon. I was in the kitchen getting dinner ready and Dale started a fire in the wood stove. I could smell the smoke as the wood caught and I thought – there it is again. I catch that faint whiff of smoke and hear the snap of the kindling and I feel gratitude. It means warmth and coziness and quiet winter nights, it means connecting to ancient customs and memories and it is good.
  3. The third time was Tuesday evening. The kids were over for dinner and I was holding Jack and I breathed in the top of his head. You know that newborn baby head smell, right? Talk about the scent of gratitude! It’s full of youth and promise, of dreams that have come true and dreams that haven’t even been conceived of yet. It’s a connection to the past and an expectation that our family will continue for generations to come.

Have you ever thought about the scent of gratitude? I’d love to hear your ideas on this, leave me a comment and tell me what you think of when you consider the scent of gratitude.

Please include a link to your post today if you wrote one!

This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. Beautifully imagined and written. Mine is less well expressed or well defined. It’s the surprise moment when you realize amidst all that is happening that in some way, life is suddenly marked for the ‘good’ pile at that moment. Best followed by contentment.

  2. I think mine might be bread baking here at home, the sweet smell of Ryan baking me a chocolate cake at his house, and chocolate chip cookies remind me of Justin. And you are so right about that baby head smell! I think I can still recall it from my kids years later.

  3. This is such a beautiful concept (and a beautiful post, Carole!). Right now, I’m really noticing the fresh smell of coffee brewing — a definite scent of gratitude. XO

  4. Loved your post! I agree…my husband, a crackling campfire, my babies…and add baking bread. It reminds me of my grandmother, to whom I’m grateful for teaching me so much as a child. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Lovely post! And, I am with Kym… that smell of coffee first thing in the morning is hard to beat! AND, this morning the crisp smell of the outdoors after the first hard frost – it is a challenging thing to be grateful for, but beautiful none the less!

  6. This is quite a lovely post, Carole. I think your scents of gratitude may be somewhat universal and yet we often fail to note them and appreciate them, except who doesn’t take a big whiff of a baby’s head?! I hope you maintain your tether to relating gratitude and smells. It is one of the best ways to be present in our lives. May your day be full of gratitude.

  7. Such a great post Carole. I’m remembering the smell of baking squash and pork chops with apples and raisins last night and the company of Doug and a good friend. Nothing better.

  8. Nicely said, Carole. Most of the scents that make me feel grateful are aromas from my childhood. I go right back in time and think of how many scents were because my parents cared for me. Sounds like I’m getting old!

  9. Aw, I love that you picked this! You shared three beautiful examples. I must admit, that poem has made me think differently about smells … and gratitude this week!

  10. What a lovely post. And that poem is magnificent! I didn’t have to think too long to know my three. The scent of Christmas bread baking. It was my mother-in-law’s recipe and my husband and sons say that it isn’t Christmas if there isn’t Christmas bread. My daughter-in-law has come over to make it with me for the last couple of years, and it is one of my favorite days of the year; gratitude for sure. The next is the smell of little boy sweat. My three year old grandson wakes up a little sweaty sometimes and it immediately takes me back to the days that my sons were that age. I am grateful for the olfactory trip down memory lane. The third is the smell of the air as we get close to our cottage on a lake in Northern Michigan. I can’t tell you exactly what the smell is, but the air is cleaner and fresher and more special and I am instantly grateful to be in my happy place. Even our dog starts sniffing that air the minute
    we get to our road.

    Thank you for posting this. After a long day at the end of an especially long week, I needed to put some gratitude into my life tonight, and I am grateful to you for making me want to do so.

  11. Finding the smells of gratitude definitely requires you to go deeper to find it’s meaning. Thanks for the thoughtful insight.

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