Friday, September 21, 2007

Fall is coming!

During this last hectic week, there were two glorious, glorious days where the sun did not shine as bright, the temperature was below 90 degrees, and there was that delicious, smoky, change is on the way smell in the air. I do not know if anyone else gets quite as euphoric and nostalgic as I do when that autumn smell comes drafting in from wherever it drafts in from, but it is my favorite time of the year.

By coincidence, I am taking a neuroscience class this semester, and one topic this week happened to be on scent recalled memory associations, although it was not covered in quite as much detail as I would have liked. I am sure most have heard that your strongest memories are tied to scent, and yes there is an anatomical/physiological basis for this too. Beyond this, much is not known, as most of our consciousness is a mystery still. The mystery of consciousness is why it is wonderful to be alive, yet it is also depressing in that it reminds us of our own mortality.

I digress though. The euphoria that the fall air gave me (I must have had some pretty enjoyable events in my life around fall to make me feel like this!) got me thinking about other memories that are associated with smell. To my surprise, I found that I have mostly pleasant memories associated with smell. For example thanksgiving dinners, the smell of grass, cucumber-melon, and even slightly burnt engine oil from an out of tune truck, strangely enough, which I tied back to my grandfathers pick-up.

So this brought up the question, what pleasant memories can I make for my daughter? What will she remember? Hopefully she will remember baking cookies, thanksgiving dinners, running around in the grass and myriads of other pleasurable events that will bring emotions flooding back at a single smell.


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