Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Practice:  Go out into some natural or wild area.  Inhale deeply.  A collage of scents will flood your nose.  But pay attention:  there will be one scent in particular that seems to characterize this particular area, season, time of day.  Pause to enjoy it.  Then seek it out.  What is making that scent?  Black sage in bloom?  Dry eucalyptus leaves?  Algae and compacted silt?  A hidden honeycomb, warmed by the sun?  

Try to get as close to that scent as you can.  When you have identified it, smell it, then let your other senses at it.  Touch it, stroke it, admire its colors and textures, and, if you're up to it, taste it.  Try to get a complete sensory impression of what was once a vague and disembodied fragrance.

Say that you have identified a particular plant.  What part of that plant gives off the scent (don't assume that it is the flower!)?  Why is the scent so strong, strong enough to permeate the entire area?  What use is the scent to the plant?

When you have had your fill, use your fingers to try and pick up some of the scent.  You may rub it on your neck or clothes.  See how long the scent stays with you.

1 comment:

Jay said...

Thanks for the reminder. The earth and its beauty (including smell) are just a great gift!