Sometimes I can smell something and a memory is triggered. The smell of fried food and hamburger joints remind me of my grandmother and her little restaurant. Nag champa incense conjures up images of old apartments, old boyfriends, and Lilith Fair. Peppermint, cinnamon, and ginger are holidays and comfort. Even the personality of a home is expressed in its smell. you can walk into the home of a friend and be greeted by a familiar, welcoming smell...not an artificial smell, but just their smell.
To me, the kitchen is the heart of our family's life. The smells that emanate from the kitchen, and the living we do there are at the core of nurturing. It is where we come together, listen to each other, have conversations, it's where our phone is. It's where shoes are taken off, where projects are started, where company comes a-visiting. Yes, the kitchen is a center of energy and flow in our home, where a lot of problems get worked on and where a lot of love happens too. Of course, I do cook in my kitchen too. In my small-ish home, once I start cooking something, the whole house, upstairs and down, takes on that smell. The love and care I put into preparing our food, the pride I take in preparing healthful meals, the spirit in which certain foods are received by my family and the gratitude for such abundance....these nourish everyone's sense of life, including my own.
And the rooms take on the energy of those smells...what is happening in the kitchen wafts through the house, scenting our rooms with comfort and cinnamon, coffee and bickering, garlic and laughter.
While I do occasionally light scented candles, sprinkle lavender essential oil on the carpet and window frames, or clean with Meyer's Clean Day, the best aromatherapy I can think of comes from the kitchen. Who needs anything artificial when there's a loaf of bread in the oven? Whose mood is not lifted by cookies baking? What sickness doesn't respond to a bowl of warming soup?