Could someone tell me how this works?
Last night I was mowing the lawn for the first time this spring. I as made the first pass down the edge of our property, I caught that smell, that unmistakable fresh cut grass aroma that says winter is over, and it told me I will be doing this chore on a more regular basis now.
But it also triggered a memory. It transported me to an experience that I know can be scientifically explained, but it seems like magic.
I can’t recall the exact year, but it was in August, because a good friend had returned from a summer in Los Angeles. Being from Nebraska all his life, he was exposed to a new world, of which included new food sensations. Why, I don’t know, but one of those during his summer away included wheatgrass shots.
Upon his return, he began to recount his three months in the land of Fruits, Nuts and Flakes. In the conversation, he added, “Have you ever had a grass shot? Dude, you’ve got to try it. It’s great and great for you!”
I was skeptical about the great and great for you part, but I am always willing to at least try something once. I’m the type of person who feels it’s a mistake, no, immoral, to not try indigenous food when visiting outside my own region. When I traveled to Scotland, I knew I would not be able to live with myself if I left the country without eating haggis. I may never eat it again, but at least I can say I’ve had it.
So one day, my friend and I walked by a Juice Stop and he saw this as his opportunity to invite me back to his California season. “Hey, let’s get a grass shot. I’ll buy!”
Now again, I’m the type of person that hears extra words added to that kind of invitation. My brain takes his statement and embellishes it with “I dare you to come in here and drink a shot of pure wheatgrass that has been crushed to extract a deep green liquid that will smell and taste like your lawn and if you don’t do it, I will have power to call you every name in the book that implies the meaning loser.”
So last night, walking back and forth with the mower, I could literally taste that day in the Juice stop, however many years ago that was.
Taste and aroma are powerful little couriers, sent to retrieve files from the archives of past memories. They do their work quickly, too. They can have something at your doorstep in an instant.
This is why food is important in developing and retaining memories. The food you eat is as important as taking along camera when you travel. A picture is worth a thousand words, but a memory is a story to be told over and over again.
We’ll set the table; you bring the conversation.