Signs of Spring

One of the benefits of going for a run, particularly at the pace I keep, is noticing the subtle signs going on around you.

A few mornings ago, it was a faint whiff of stuff growing. I don’t know how else to explain it. Might be an early pollen of some kind, or a fragrant flower. Or cut grass. Maybe all of it. That is the very thing we miss by being in our cars all the time. Literally stopping to smell the proverbial roses.

Spring Blooms

This morning, there were a few older men standing around chatting with an idling GTO in the scene. Had a collector car plate. Who knows the year? My husband would ask me. I just don’t think it is important to the story in any way. As I ran by, I smelt gasoline. Maybe they had been working on the car earlier. In any case, I was instantly transported to a sunny Saturday morning of my childhood. An old car, my Dad fixing something, the odour of puttering around the garage.

Memory is a funny thing. Sometimes, what seems to be so important can’t be recalled for anything. Then a faint smell can bring back memories, decades old. Makes you wonder if the brain knows what it needs to remember. Those fond memories are sticking around for a reason.


“Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands, or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood – finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without.”   ~Jodi PicoultPerfect Match

I had the privilege of helping a very soon, Mom-to-be out to her car today. Laden with her gifts, lightened of her work responsibilities, awaiting the unknown next phase. My heart was full of happiness for her. For all those firsts she is going to experience in the coming weeks. Gifts of the heart that are better than anything which could be bought at a store.

Those are the memories which I treasure most. The tiny hands stroking your skin. A first smile that lights up a tiny face. The sweet smell.

Fantastic smile 2003

Fantastic smile 2003

These sentiments are why a Mother thinks having another baby is a good idea. If she could so easily call up any number of other memories, there would be no second or third children.

My husband remembers those days very differently. He doesn’t, for a moment, wish for babies. He likes the constant push forward. He is encouraged by the eventual day when these little ones will take flight and leave the nest. And I feel the same, most of the time.

But the thought of holding a tiny newborn again is a wonderful feeling. The upshot now is the other Mom standing nearby who gets to soothe him when he starts to cry. That is a job I don’t miss so much.


I was listening to a song on the radio today. The lyrics took me back to a time when I was 9 years old, living in Houston, Texas. My parents were barely 30, young ex-pats enjoying life in the South to the fullest.

There was not a specific day that stands out, but more a montage of typical things we did. The heat, the accent falling off the tongue, the larger than life attitude we all had. It was a good time for my whole family to become closer whilst embracing so many new things at the same time.

Then I shot back to present day and pondered the fact that my daughter is also 9 years old. I wondered, will she have fond memories of this age? Or will it be more of a feeling, wrapped around certain events? Will these be her “good old days”?


The walk down memory lane was a reminder of how quickly time passes. I certainly don’t feel that young anymore, but it is hard to reconcile my real age, with how I feel. It is also more of a sombre realization around how quickly time is counting down.

My feelings of nostalgia were flashing between my childhood and my daughters. I almost envisioned what she would think about when she too becomes a grown woman. Maybe a Katie Perry song will put her right back to this house in White Rock, to the neon green cover on her first iPod.

Many people write about nostalgia with a pessimistic attitude. But if you remember a single event or a stretch of time, fondly, that doesn’t mean everything else was perfect. It is just where your mind wants to go. Who would want to have a brain that only remembers bad stuff?