It's really amazing how certain smells can instantly transport you to another time and place. I remember it like yesterday:
Our first grade class took a walking field trip from the school to the post office on Callow Avenue, a few blocks away from the school. We were going to tour the post office and find out what happens to a letter when you send it there. We all had our letters we'd written in class, and they all had a stamp on them ready to mail. For a class of 7 yr olds, that was pretty exciting stuff!
While the tour of the post office was sorta neat, it was the walk down there that I remember the most. It was spring time and all the Japanese cherry trees that lined 7th street were in full bloom. It was a sunny, warm day and the smell of those cherry blossoms literally filled the air. At some point in our walk to the post office I remember thinking that it was one of the happiest days of my life. Only being 7 years old I didn't have much of a life to compare it to, but as it turned out it was indeed one of the happiest and most memorable days of my life. All because of a street lined with blossoming cherry trees.
What made me think of this today was looking out my window and noticing that the horse chestnut tree is about to bloom. While the chestnuts are not edible, for about 2 weeks in the spring the blossoms give off such an incredible aroma. The tree is right outside my balcony door so I can smell it nice and strong when I walk into my room. It's hard to describe the way the blossoms smell. It's sort of like a cross between the most subtle perfume you've ever smelled, and the most exquisite bakery smell you can imagine. I love the smell so much, I've snipped a flew of the blooms over the years and brought them inside to decorate with.
It's amazing the power of scent has, really. Animals thrive and survive by it, and us people are so affected by it it can conjure up childhood memories out of nowhere, or even completely alter our moods. One of my favorite flowers to have all over the house in the spring are French Lilacs. Ohhhh... nothing compares to that scent! I'm not sure why I don't have a lilac bush growing here, but when we move eventually, that's definitely one of the first things I'll be planting.
I love spring! :-)