I wonder, if we realised what all of those impressions we absorb as young children would mean to us later, whether we would take more notice at the time. Regardless of whether we did or not, somewhere in our sub consciousness while we are blithely playing our way through childhood many things imprint on our brain & later surface again. A sight, a scent, a sound & we are transported back.
Unsurprisingly some things make more of an impression than others.... there are some that we are not even aware of, or at least later on in life we can't pin point when that memory was imprinted. Christmas brought all of this home to me this year.
I'd bought a few stems of Lilium Regal - the Christmas Lily, here in New Zealand. It's scent is absolutely amazing. I have some growing in the garden for the first time ever but didn't want to cut the few I had so purchased some instead.
For one reason or another over recent years I haven't had Christmas lilies in the house. I'm not sure why as I always used to have them - even if I did have to pinch the stamens out because my ex-husband complained they gave him hayfever. Unfortunately removing the stamens also removed the delicious scent, but since he was often away I'd leave pinching out the stamens until I absolutely had too.
The second I got those beauties into the house I was transported back in time & realised that, to me, this was the one thing that said "Christmas" more than anything else. A fragrance. In that moment the amazing spicy, heady, intoxicating scent of those Christmas lilies was the most wonderful thing on earth.
Because of my trip to Brisbane there was no tree this year, no other decorations - just those beautiful white lilies & they spoke "Christmas" more than anything else ever has in recent years & I suspect ever could. I can't recall whether Mum had them at Christmas time when I was really young, although I remember my Uncle & Aunt had them planted right along the side of his house for many years & that there was always a vase full inside at their place.
I was more than a little pleased when my oldest son commented on the scent of the lilies on Boxing Day - it seems that the imprint was made when he was younger too.
Absolutely Positively Christmas.
Growing in my garden.