The smell of burning wood

Inspired by The Daily Post: The Transporter

Tell us about a sensation — a taste, a smell, a piece of music — that transports you back to childhood.

When I was a little girl, there was a man in my life who I adored. He wasn’t famous or rich. There were no statues built to represent the things he’d done, nor buildings named in his honor. But he was a good man. He was my grandfather.

I was twelve years old when God took him home. At that age, I’m not really sure I understood the concept of death. I knew he went to Heaven, and I’d been told he would watch over me. I missed him, but was comforted, thinking that such a wonderful man would be like my guardian angel. Who’s to say that he wasn’t there sometimes, interceding on a dangerous situation solely for my protection…

I miss him more these days than I ever did then, probably because I fear that I’m forgetting him. I’ll try to recall a memory and feel like there are gaps in the story. I’ll conjure up an image of his face, but then question if I’m remembering him correctly.

But oh, the smell of a fire in a woodburning fireplace…The memories always come flooding back, inaccurate or incomplete as they may be. I remember lying on my stomach in their livingroom, a coloring book and crayons spread out before me, the fire crackling in the wood stove. I would dig my bare toes into the plush carpet and feel the warmth of the space all around me. I would look up at my grandfather and he would smile down at me from his spot on the easy chair.

In the late fall is the best time for the trips down memory lane, when the first fires are being lit to take the chill out of the air. Combined with the crisp smell of fallen leaves and fresh baked apple pies, I’m suddenly back at that little house on the side street. I see the long dirt road to the cranberry bogs running behind it, stacks of logs along the side of the garage, the little swing set and a screened in porch.

I look forward to when we can build fires in our fireplace, to always have those memories rekindled time and again. He may never visit our home, to sit in front of our fire with his feet propped up, but I’m sure he’s watching over us and wishing he could.

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3 responses to “The smell of burning wood

  1. Pingback: We’ll Never Smell That Way Again | The Jittery Goat·

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