It was the first warm, sunny day after a long bout of rain storms. I walked down my apartment steps and onto the street, not really a bad street if you ignore the soiled, abandoned furniture and the one tail-less squirrel that frequented the few trees near my building. The air was thick with the scent of jasmine, the fences covered in their vines.
The rains had soaked my shoes and broken my only umbrella but none of that mattered when I touched the perfect white blooms that covered the fences and made the air smell of my childhood.
When I was 12 years old living in Perth, my fathers home town. I remember one spring day in our back yard. My father was on the deck smoking a cigar, which he only did very rarely and it always meant it was a good day, he was relaxed and everything was right in our world. The smell of a cigar still puts me at ease.
I went over and sat next to him. He reached behind his head and picked a tiny sprig of Jasmine from the lattice, put it to my nose and told me it was called Jasmine. He said that it was his favorite smell in the whole world. He then pressed it to his own nose and I watched as it took him somewhere, probably his own childhood.
To me the scent was only sweet and pleasant, it brought back no memories fond or otherwise, it was just a scent at the time.
Now as I sit in my bedroom in California looking at the Jasmine that I brought home and placed in a champagne glass on top of my dresser, the smell that fills my room reminds me of my childhood, my father, and a place with a similar climate, I suppose.
I don’t remember much about my childhood, yet there are certain moments, especially with my Father that will always be with me. I guess when you love someone so much those small moments are not small at all.
Just like those tiny, white, Jasmine flowers with a scent that can fill a whole town.
(I wrote this about my Father when I first moved to LA and was living on Carlton Way in Hollywood, today it is raining and it made me homesick)