Breathe The Salt Air

by Randy Murray on August 14, 2013

I grew up on the prairie and was blanketed in smells, most of them unpleasant. Cow manure, burnt gas and sludge from the surrounding oil fields, the diesel back-blast of a hot tractor are all clear and powerful remembered scents. But there were also the pleasant, evocative smells of growing things, the ripening corn, the earthy smell of harvested wheat, the endless garden as each vegetable grew and ripened.

But for this old farm boy there is nothing, nothing, so instantly relaxing as that first breath of ocean salt air.

Memories are so strongly tied to scents like these. Aromas trigger associations, memories, and sensations that can be overwhelming. For me the salt air is one that says, “You’re away from home. Nothing is required of you.”

There are more, deeper associations that come with that first breath. The creaking of spars and flap of canvas sails that come only from my imagination and travels with fictional characters. The promise of adventures, a far shore, a flashing, howling tempest on the horizon, all come into focus with that first deep breath.

Salt air may not have those same associations for you. I suspect that they would not. But it’s worth a try. Make your way to sea level. Find the shore and lapping waves. Breathe in the salt air.

Then let your mind and memories tell you what you need to know.

The Breathe The Salt Air by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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