Seasonal Mom-Scents

In summer
I cannot stop
sniffing beneath fingernails
where musky, rich soil remains
after red potatoes freshly dug
and ruby tomatoes are
gingerly picked.

In autumn
so tempting are
oatmeal raisin cookies
pulled fresh from oven
on blackened cookie sheet
that my tongue is scorched.
I cannot wait!

In winter
when scents can no
longer be sensed Mom pours a
few drops of camphor oil
onto a linen rag and pins to
soft flannel nightie, an act
of healing prayer.

In springtime
I recognize
who you are and who I am
by everyday scents that link us
in love, kindness, and calm
as sweet as fresh, tender
lavender spikes.

Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45
Give thanks to the Lord;
call upon his name;
make his deeds known to all people!
Sing to God;
sing praises to the Lord;
dwell on all his wondrous works!
Give praise to God’s holy name!
Let the hearts rejoice of all those seeking the Lord!
Pursue the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always!
Remember the wondrous works he has done,
all his marvelous works, and the justice he declared—
you who are the offspring of Abraham, his servant,
and the children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
Then God brought Israel out, filled with silver and gold;
not one of its tribes stumbled.
Egypt celebrated when they left,
because the dread of Israel had come upon them.
God spread out clouds as a covering;
gave lightning to provide light at night.
The people asked, and God brought quail;
God filled them full with food from heaven.
God opened the rock and out gushed water—
flowing like a river through the desert!
Because God remembered his holy promise
to Abraham his servant,
God brought his people out with rejoicing,
his chosen ones with songs of joy.
God gave them the lands of other nations;
they inherited the wealth of many peoples—
all so that they would keep his laws
and observe his instructions.
Praise the Lord!

These verses from the Psalms can be felt with all the senses! For example, have you gone outside with nose turned to the sky to sniff for the smell of rain when dark clouds fill the sky? Or tilt your head to listen to the thunder and lightning crackle in the skies? Indeed, water flowing like a river is life-giving and affects our sense of touch in calming ways. What other senses are activated for you when reading this scripture aloud?

Although most of life’s experiences are ordinary, they are the ones that often come to mind when pondering the past. My mother’s birthday is this week and my sister and I will honor her memory by taking bouquets of colorful zinnias from our gardens to place on her grave and those of other loved ones. It’s an ordinary act, but an important one as taught by our parents and remember our heritage.

As you reflect this week upon your life, prayerfully consider those sensory experiences that make you smile and have become meaningful to you. May all these things that have touched you, help you know that you are loved and cherished by God.
Let us praise God for both ordinary and extraordinary experiences!
We pray for you with love and peace,

Rev. Marta Wheeler