home is where the heart is.
The smell of milk boiling that makes me scrunch up my nose; it reminds me of my mother, who is always in the kitchen, always whipping up the healthiest snack… usually the milkshake of the season as I am very fussy about milk. Plain milk, I cannot drink.
The aroma of buttered toast on those dreadful early mornings I’d wake up to study… every time I’d underestimated the number of hours it took to finish the test portions which left me droopy-eyed at 3AM, with a Psychology book in one hand and slice of toast in another.
The waft of jasmine that enters my home every evening, for that was when they’d be delivered by the flower lady. A knock at the door and a greeting with jasmine always meant that it was 6 o’ clock.
The seductive smell of paper that accompanies the creak of the bookcase filled with my favourite books hoarded through the years. It takes me back to the night I stayed up just arranging those books according to age, colour, genre… and didn’t even realise that half the night had passed! The bookshelf has always been a pride of mine. I love looking at these books almost as much as I love reading them.
The balcony that smells of rain as I’ve spent many a rainy nights standing there- soaking it all up! November exams were always the least stressful as when it rained in the nights, I’d abandon my textbooks and run to the balcony, watching puddles form and plants shimmer… The leaves from the neighbouring house’s mango tree would tickle my cheek and I’d feel so alive!
The old car smell that fast replaced the new car smell of my once new car. The whiff of lavender that adds to the odour, thanks to the car freshener. The scent of lavender now takes me to the peaceful car rides I shared with my brother and father from time to time. Whether it is fighting over which CD to pop into the player (Bon Jovi vs the Juno OST), making fun of each other or sharing a comfortable silence as we got dropped off at various points… I love those car rides. Now that I’m studying at a different city and come home less often, they are rarer and just as special.
These smells, they will always take me to these places as they are eternal. They have been immortalised here- in this place, my childhood home, where I lounge around, pace about aimlessly and that I take for granted.
I carry them with me in my memories or they come back to me in disjointed cues when I grow distant and preoccupied. And during the time of homecoming, they hit me with unexpected force… and I’m awed by how much it matters. For home is where the heart is and in these scents and smells is a little bit of home.