Monday, September 16, 2013

The Smell of Home

When me and the kids moved into our new home, it had a distinctive smell. It had been empty for months before I looked at it. And when my real estate agent showed the place, it was on a chilly, overcast Michigan summer day. (The next day, it was probably 90 degrees. That’s Michigan weather…)

There was a lot of unpacking, cleaning, and claiming the space as our own in the following months.

Between the odor of fresh paint, the frosty dampness of fall, the cinnamon of Christmas, and all those other scents that make a house a home (dirty laundry, Mr. Clean, brownies baking) and the flavors of changing seasons, the house’s smell disappeared.

Until the following Fall. And, now, braced for our fourth Autumn in this home, I came down the stairs Saturday morning to that old familiar smell of this house; as if it demands to retain a wee bit of its prior persona in spite of the new owner’s influence. And that’s okay.

Because over the years, I’ve come to associate that scent with new beginnings, progress, opportunities, grace and thankfulness. It no longer reminds me so much of the divorce that set me on this homeowner path, but of all the steps I’ve taken in my journey since.

Every year I get to look back, smile, and keep looking ahead. All, thanks to a certain welcoming smell.