Moment from Memory By Edd Jennings

Smell doesn’t translate easily into language.
Our words to describe scent tend to the imprecise, but that a sense may not be given to satisfactory definition fails to speak to its importance.

I find myself irritable on days when the wind is up just enough to confuse my ability to scent what’s around the corner. The animals, who live by scent more than I ever will, are even more skittish on those days.

If I have a choice, I pick a direction of travel based on the drift of the wind. I prefer to receive signature rather than offer it, although I may not always be conscious of my choice.

Scents can be harsh and clean, a February day in the ice, or lush like a warm spring night standing among the overripe hyacinths. Much like the ice and the flowers, a woman speaks with her scent before she offers words.

Memory of scent confuses in a way the recall of a face never will. I pushed up a steep knoll just under Hematite Ridge. The blackberry briars cut through my clothing.

In that worst moment almost trapped in the tangle of thorns and questioning my will and power to push through, I smelled the sharpness of her body under exercise. I couldn’t have of course.

Nobody but me had stood on this hillside in years. She wasn’t here on this day, had never stood on this spot, and never would. I hadn’t touched her in years and wouldn’t again.

These dense coverts, which claim so much of my life, don’t invite people. Maybe they’re the one place where my senses refuse to separate the moment from the memory.

About Edd Jennings
Edd B. Jennings runs beef cattle in the mountains of Virginia

Originally Published on
Good Men Project

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