Soak in the aroma of life

By Gerry Lewis | Published Saturday, May 19, 2018

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“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet.” – William Shakespeare, “Romeo and Juliet”

“A skunk by any other name still stinks.” – Anonymous

Obviously, both of those quotes have a much deeper meaning than simply a reference to smell, but the metaphor works because smell is a powerful force.

Smell is one of the greatest triggers of memory. A brief whiff can take you back to granny’s kitchen, Aunt Nell’s garden, granddaddy’s front seat, the high school locker room or a zillion other places.

This is the third in a five-part series from my sabbatical on re-engaging our five senses to make sense out of life.

This week’s focus: Don’t just sniff; breathe it in.

There are a couple of things that will be a part of this week for me during my sabbatical. They are not really out of the ordinary.

At the end of the week, there are some experiences I want to breathe in. We’ll be traveling to attend our grandson’s birthday party. It’s the big 2! Of course our two granddaughters, ages 3 1/2 and 8 months, will be there as well.

With small children there are some aromatic moments that you don’t want to breathe in too deeply. But there’s also the smell of their hair as you pick them up and hold them close. Even the smell of a kid that needs a bath is precious if it’s one of your grand babies.

Spending time with our children and grandchildren requires a drive of about six hours for either them or us. More often than not, it’s us. They all live in close proximity to each other and have the typically hectic lives of young families. We’re a little more flexible and highly motivated, due to the aforementioned grand babies.

Because I’m thinking about intentionally re-engaging my senses during this sabbatical, I want to really breathe in the “scent” of every moment with these people I love. I want to breathe in the experience of traveling with the woman who shared the love that made this family possible.

And I’ll smell the perspiration and stage makeup on my favorite son after the theatrical performance we will see him in on the evening of the birthday party. He’s been performing all his life and from kindergarten until now at 27. I’ve seen at least one performance of every production he’s ever been in. Perspiration and stage makeup is the smell of my boy.

Life Matters, friends. What experiences do you need to breathe in this week?

Dr. Gerry Lewis, author, blogger, church consultant and leadership coach, serves as executive director of the Harvest Baptist Association in Decatur.

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