It’s crazy how something as simple as a smell can take you back in time in an instant. This time last year I was obsessed with a scent from Home Goods called “Blue Agave”. This candle was my holy grail for relaxation. So naturally, I had to buy one for my mom. She too loved it. Hers sat on a natural wood console below her TV in the master bedroom. This simple candle sat atop decorative gardening books, snuggled up inconspicuously next to a purple faux flower arrangement. I wouldn’t even know where to begin when explaining its scent, it’s very light and airy yet dense enough to bring about a relaxing sensation. Kind of like when you were a kid and you’d bury yourself in warm laundry fresh out of the dryer. This smell makes me think of that experience, wrapped safely in warmth and comfort. Tonight I lit that very candle, the one from my mom’s bedroom, for the first time in almost a year.
I’ve been very productive this week. Sunday will be my 23rd birthday and so I’m using this opportunity to push myself into tackling all of the mundane projects it’s so easy to put off as a homeowner. You know, the small stuff that next thing you know has piled into a mountain of to-dos? Like touching up paint or plastering nail holes, power washing your patio, washing the exterior windows, giving the outdoor furniture a fresh coat of paint, replacing the random light bulbs that went out 6 months ago… So far, I have seriously impressed myself with my level of productivity. It’s insane what a good nights sleep, a little motivation, and a couple of sugar-free RedBulls can do. Each night I climb into bed feeling accomplished and exhausted. So tonight, I decided I was due for a lights-out steamy shower accompanied by my favorite acoustic album on Spotify, “Evening Acoustic”, and of course, the perfect scent to ease my mind and body. Before I hopped in the shower I snuck a peek into my trusty linen cabinet, knowing there I would find the perfect candle for my party-of-one night in. And there it sat a half-used Blue Agave, courtesy of miss Jennifer Orr herself. I hesitated to reach for it, not because it can’t be replaced or the scent has been discontinued. But because that candle, this exact one, was lit by her hand once upon a time. This candle sat across from her as she binge-watched “Suits”, it witnessed our mom-daughter pillow talks that kept her up way past her bedtime. This candle listened as she blared Eric Church radio through the house while she blow-dried her hair in the bathroom just a few steps away. This damn candle knew her in her most private space. A familiarity not many can claim to have experienced. In a way, I envy things that existed around her at all times, because they were present for her in her most raw moments. When she was alone in her own safe place and could be completely herself. That is the woman I knew and loved so dearly. The Jennifer Orr with no makeup, her hair tie on the verge of falling out of her loose ponytail, comfy in her worn pink Victoria Secret pajama pants she’d had for years, waltzing around the house in her tan colored Ugg slippers, blue stud diamond earrings in, with one of the backs coming loose no doubt, the small baby hairs from the nape of her neck laying across the back of her shoulders, smelling like a fresh shower and her tan skin coated head to toe in Hempz original scented lotion.
A scent can bring you back to a moment in time as if it had just passed. I’m so glad I decided to burn that Blue Agave candle tonight. 372 days have gone by without experiencing her light, but tonight, I was with her all over again.
I love you, mom.