We’re somewhere in the middle of spring, which here in Chicago means temperatures jumping from winter-like lows to summer-like highs.
The changing of seasons (even all within the same calendar season of spring) makes me more aware of my senses, particularly the sense of smell. Freshly mown grass and flowering plants are just two of the more obvious scents spring brings to my nose. Some people love these smells. I’m a little less enthused about some of them, knowing they bring allergies back. But still I’m aware.
Ignatian prayer invites us to be fully aware. What do we smell? is a valid question in contemplating Scripture stories. Do we breathe in the scent of the Sea of Galilee or the aroma of food from Martha’s kitchen? Do we smell the storm coming before it rages so that Jesus must calm it? Do we appreciate the scent of fish and bread as Jesus feeds the multitudes?
Smell is a powerful trigger to memory. How can the smell of the crowd bring us closer to the Gospel? Each one of us has to answer for ourselves, but I suspect that this springtime, God’s grace can trigger something within us that will make it worth taking time to notice the scents.