It rained intermittently all day today. My office is located at the top of a hill, surrounded by woods. Since it is November and most of the leaves have blown off the oaks, the late afternoon air was steeped in the damp, woody smell of acorns, leaves, and dirt. As I left the office, I was hit with nostalgia. My paternal grandparents used to live in a wonderful home that they built, at the top of a hill, in the woods. By the time I came along, the house had been there long enough that all of those woodsy smells had crept indoors; so today I was flooded with sweet memories of playing on the yellow-orange shag staircase with my cousins and taking chocolate chip cookies (which I always thought she baked a bit too hard) out of grandma's cookie jar.
Today I am thankful for the wonderful smells of fall, for the way God hardwired our memories to be so strongly linked to all of our senses, and for the gift of a childhood that I want to remember.