Earlier today I was performing the heavenly task of harvesting lavender seeds. My hands were filled with the scent as I spilled the tiny gems out into a bowl. In delicate drafts off the pond the perfume of roses mingled with the lavender and I began to think of all the scented plants that I have in the garden. That is when I decided to take a little sniffing tour.
Now I could list all the scented plants I have out there but then this would just be a laundry list of otherwise rather common plants. I have varieties of mint, sage, curry, lilies, scented tulips, and so on. I have a passionate weak spot for scents because it is the swiftest route through the haze of rational thinking and I simply can not resist the E ticket ride.
For those of you who were born after the “when things were really cool” period: an E ticket ride refers to the old ticket books you used to get at Disneyland. The ticket books were letter/color coded and came with a certain number of each. The E tickets were used for the very best rides. Sometimes if a ride cost more than one E ticket you could use other tickets plus an E ticket to make up the difference. The Es were quickly used up and therefore coveted by all. Many sibling battles were fought and future first born children traded for an extra E ticket back in the day.
As a child I loved the experience “rides” that Disneyland put together. It was all about the ride of being transported to another time and place. When you are young you can let yourself buy those fantasies. All you have to do is hand them your cotton candy coated sticky ticket and you take the ride with wide eyed acceptance. There are no adult pretenses of jaded sobriety to hinder your fun or keep you in check.
As far as the brain is concerned scent is the E ticket for experience rides in the garden. Roses can smell wonderful but where do yours take you? Some of my roses remind me of my mother. I can’t quite remember her though I do remember her scent and it breaks my heart a little every time I smell those roses. Catmint to me smells like sunlight coming through lace curtains in a farmhouse window. It’s like an amber glow across sepia toned photographs atop a worn wooden dresser. And lavender feels like smooth wooden floors and glycerin soap on a hot summer day.
The chocolate mint I brush by in the mornings as I feed the birds always makes me smile because it smells happy and safe. Rosemary transports me to the majesty of pine forests and lemon balm is like sunlight dancing on my skin. There are so many beautifully scented plants and flowers to choose from but if a scent is the equivalent of and E ticket ride I want to make my choices wisely.
I figure that life takes you on a lot of rides that you’d rather not go on so if given half a chance why not design your own amusement park where the rides are the ones you want to take? What does happy smell like to you?