There is a smell that signals the arrival of fall and I anxiously await its arrival every year.
It has magical powers that make me feel like getting cozy in front of a roaring fireplace with a good book or a knitting project.
My first whiff of this nostalgia comes when I go into the craft store in September for some yarn for myself or sketch books for my daughter. As soon as the doors slide open the smell swarms around me and grabs me by my nose and leads me right to the basket where the scented sachets are tossed artfully into a basket in the fall display. “It’s fall!” they say and since they’re only a dollar piece I throw three or four of them in my little red shopping basket.
At home, I put one at my desk, another on my nightstand, and another in the living room near my rocking chair. I save the fourth for emergencies. As I go about my daily routines, I catch whiffs of my little sachet friends. I breathe in deep. Ahh, aroma therapy at its best.
Pumpkin spice. The perfect blend of cinnamon and Allspice with tiny undercurrents of nutmeg. It evokes images of families gathered around tables for Thanksgiving dinners; of trees displaying the warm, inviting colors of fall; of pumpkin patches and hayrides and faces painted for Halloween; of warm apple cider and sweet potato pie; of cozy knit hats and scarves.
Sometimes I smother my face in the sachet and take a deep breath in and I feel my soul exhale. I breathe in again and meditate on the things I want in life and envision myself already having them because the pumpkin spice makes me content and when I’m content I’m more confident.
I take long walks with the sachet in my hand and I watch fall paint its feelings on trees and bushes and fall flowers and I am grateful for life and the simple pleasures it sprinkles all around me. I feel as if I could grow wings and glide carefree on the invisible thermals that carry me left and right and down and back up again while I yell “woooohooooo!” as if I’m on my favorite roller coaster racing up and down and sideways and around and around. Nothing bad can touch me, no worries can weigh me down.
Yes, pumpkin spice is joie de vivre in a bag.