Summer -- A Fine Time To Shed Some Clothes And Cliches

As for summertime clothes-shedding, people do so in inverse proportion to their proportions. Anytime, though, is a good time for shedding a few clingy cliches. Like the ones that presume we are the superior of all the animal kingdom. Ask any bomb or disease sniffing dog about that one…!

Maybe humanity shouldn’t be so quick to consider our animal instincts so inferior to our rational thinking. If you tally the number of times your instincts saved your life versus your thinking, well you might be surprised. So lets hear it for those sensory skills of ours:

* Smell is so often overlooked. And yet how often does a passing aroma instantly trigger powerfully subtle emotions in us? Fresh cut grass — the distant days of summer childhood. Chalk — those almost forgotten years in the classroom. Gardenias — perhaps an eternity-ago prom night. A pancake house — oh my god, I’m back in Mom’s kitchen.

Not too different from our pets, we can pick up body scents. Close your eyes in a car and can’t you quickly tell who you’re sitting next to? In restaurants and at parties too. Usually thinking comes only after smelling. Which might tell you to sharpen that gift, because properly used it can open remarkable sensory worlds in your brain too long neglected.

* Sound too is taken for granted. Watch your pets’ ears as we now understand they can distinguish sounds and their meanings with astonishing accuracy. Hearing is one thing; listening is something quite more. When you listen to the roar of a jet — why not allow yourself a quick reprise of that last trip you took to Italy? The strains of Bach or Mozart — let their experience remind your very being of the majesty or order in your world. The giggle of a baby — no harm in recalling the joy you both felt in that delivery room.

Here’s the point. Like every other animal, we house a galaxy of emotions that have been stored awaiting just the right smell or sound to be released. Give them permission to take over your mind every lovely once and awhile.

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  • This morning as we prepare to go and do some babysitting with our new grandson I can relate to your words Jack … The smell/scent of the rich roasted coffee my spouse has made for us … the singing of the birds out the sunroom screens … the deliberate laying out o very ‘summer’ apparel [shorts and light cotton shirt & sandals] and the soft background sound of public radio classics coming from a corner of the house as the missus readies herself for this day of responsibility with a precious child … suddenly I am 25 once more … well maybe 35 …

  • In reply to Geezer:

    Geezer -- my Canadian soul-mate...may I suspect most younger folk have not yet found [or made] the time for these delicious experiences...I know I didn't!!

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