LeAnne Martin
Beauty and the Beholder

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Fragrance of Fall

Today as we were walking the dog, a light breeze blew across my face, bringing with it the scent of fall. It's a crisp but smoky smell, even when there's no fire. It's so different from the scent of the other seasons. It says, "Change is coming!" 

The sense of smell is not one we typically think of as a conduit for beauty. But certain fragrances call to my mind memories of beauty from the past. 

For instance, a few years ago, I visited a centuries-old church while on vacation. The smell of the burning candles followed me to every corner of that building. As I looked at the historic frescoes and the architecture, the fragrance of the candles deepened the experience for me. I can smell them now.

Another fragrance that calls to mind an experience of beauty was the flowers in my wedding bouquet. Stargazer lilies, purple stock, delphiniums, blue iris, and seafoam statice with a purple ribbon made a breathtaking arrangement. As I held the gorgeous bouquet in my hand, the fragrance accompanied me throughout the most beautiful day of my life. Whenever I'm near a stargazer now, the scent takes me back to that day.   

Now, as fall continues to unfold and the leaves curl and come down, my daughter will soon remind me about one of her favorite things to do. Last year, on a warm fall afternoon, we raked a huge pile of leaves in the front yard and jumped in them. We hopped in and kicked, and threw leaves at each other. I took several photos of her but of course the camera couldn't capture the fragrance in the air. But some aspects of beauty simply can't be captured. Beauty has to be enjoyed in the moment, treasured and remembered for years to come.

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