Updated: Oct 7, 2019
I love fall. Not for the typical American reasoning of being the start of football season. No, I’m not loyal to my southern roots in that respect. Yes, I love the comfort of a soft cotton sweatshirt, hot coffee on a cool morning, and the familiar sizzle and pop of a backyard campfire. I love the vast array of color that blankets the ground as leaves say a final goodbye to their loved one. Though my favorite part about the changing season is the scents. Of our five basic senses, I find olfaction to be the most nostalgic in recounting a memory. My most cherished memories are relived in an encounter of a familiar scent. My Daddy’s cologne on another man will instantly whisk me back to a Sunday morning sermon, a carefree road trip, or the way he enjoyed sliced bananas, peanut butter cookies, and early morning coffee, with a background lull of Regis and Kelly on tv. Johnsons baby wash will take me back to a moment of tiny fingers wrapped around my index, soft bare feet in my palm, and the feel of newborn hair against a gentle kiss.
Fall scents are intoxicating as they are familiarized with a refreshment of comfort. Toasted marshmallow suggesting an evening fire is upon the horizon. Pumpkin spice indicating Halloween is near. And every merrily, cozy scent of apples paired with cinnamon wafting by like a carol of whispers singing Christmas is around the corner.
I haven’t done a lot of baking in our current home of three years. I reserve those efforts for the holidays here. Another reason this changing season is my favorite. I’ll dust the table top with flour, drizzle caramel around, and let little tongues lick spatulas and bowls. The scent of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies will drift through the house, igniting memories of our first home in Utah. I baked passionately and often between the walls of that older homes cool structure. Our home always smelled of cookies, pies, dessert breads, and other bakery delights. Maybe it was the euphoria of a first time home owner. Maybe it was the relief of a stable home life with my husband, no more deployments and twelve hour shifts. Maybe it was welcoming our last child together, and the definitive decision to conclude the expansion of our family. Maybe it was our neighbors and the friendships we developed, that blossomed into family love. Whatever the reason, the walls of our home in Utah radiated love and laughter, paired with fragrant scents of baked goods year round. And every year as the season begins, the warm fall scents evoke fond memories of our short time there, and excitement for new memories swirling in the batter.
Happy fall my friends.