Fourty-five years ago today was the historic moment when man first stepped on the moon. I was a young girl and not in to all that space stuff, like my husband was, yet I can remember that day. It was a defining moment in history of what we could do if we set our minds to it.
July 20, 1969 Man on the moon.
I was at the cabin on Pike Bay in northern Minnesota. It was a cabin like so many at that time, without running water or telephone. I had been there many times and would be there many more, yet this was the only time that we ever had a TV at the cabin. The portable television with tinfoil on the rabbit ears sat next to the Victrola. Granny, Uncle Phil and I sat on three hardback kitchen chairs around the snow screen watching Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon as a Super8 movie camera on a tripod captured it all.
Space travel was real and walking on the moon seemed possible, but until it happened it was just a wee be incredulous. Suddenly it was real, it had happened and I had seen it. We, the US of A, had done it. As a family full of military men it was a moment of great pride because we had done it first. We had won the space race ahead of the Russian, in the midst of the Cold War.
It was an amazing time and I got to experience it.
For me the smell of pines invokes so many memories.
The other day I went for a hike in the high country expecting great vistas. The trail was high enough that when I could peek through the trees the sights were breathtaking. But those vistas were few and far between as most of the hike was tucked in between rocks and great forests. But I wasn’t disappointed because this hike had a different kind of beauty… the beauty that smell invoke.
Beauty is usually associated with a visual experience. Smells can bring back many beautiful memories. They cause your brain to immediately paint a picture with that first whiff. The brain’s picture is a combination of all the times that you smelled that aroma, painting a perfect picture; picking bits and pieces of each experience with that smell and creating the best of the best memory.
The walk with the hot afternoon sun cause the resins of the pines to create an overwhelming smell of pine. It brought back memories of summers at the lake. That memory gave me such a good feeling that everything seemed right with the world. Not only could I smell the pines of the lake, but I could also hear the waves on the shore. I could hear the winds in the red and white pines tall above the cabin. I could feel the coolness of the cotton sheets on my bed. I could see the sunset across the lake. When I let myself embrace the smell of the pines of Montana, I could close my eyes and I was transformed back to the shores of Pike Bay in Minnesota. I was a perfect moment of time travel that only the smell of the trees could give me.