Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bacon, Coffee and a Memory

The six senses are amazing. They can bring you to a place of long ago or create a tab in your life book that you can go back to and savor, morn or reflect on.

Sounds or music can spur a memory that makes you sad or happy. Lots of people can hear a song and get nostalgic. I remember running away from home when I was in Junior High and I rode a bus all the way to Lake Jackson, Texas. At the time it seemed like a thousand miles, really it was maybe 60 or 70. There was a specific girl who I had a crush on that had left our neighborhood and moved there. When I got to her moms apartment I was met by her older sister who told me she was inside with her new boyfriend and I could not go in. I sat on the steps outside and listened as Elton John’s Mad Man Across the Water played through their windows. To this day when I hear music off that record I feel something, sad I guess, it almost always brings me back there.

Seeing something can create a Déjà vu effect that triggers emotions. It is not uncommon to be sensitive to certain things you see that move you to emotion because of your interpretation as a kid. Past experiences with people, places or things can spur you to happiness, sadness, fear. When I see a kid being ignored by an adult I get frustrated, even mad. I remember when I was growing up and it was “kids are made to be seen not heard.” I grew up longing for someone to talk to, not another kid but a grown up. Today I find myself drawn into ministry with boys who are hungry to talk to an adult. Something about seeing a kid being ignored gets me all worked up.

Feeling the soft flannel of a sheet or a shirt, the feeling of a fresh washed pair of favorite jeans can make you feel good. It feels like a Saturday morning with nothing ahead of you but the day. When I feel my wife’s hair after it has just been washed, soft, smooth and silky makes me feel good. I also love to get my back scratched. I remember as a kid begging mom to scratch my back every night and to never stop. Human contact is imperative to life. Touch.

Two of my favorite sensory alerts are from the nose and both of these can typically be found in the mornings. The smell of bacon and the smell of fresh brewing coffee. When I come into the kitchen in the morning and the coffee is already started and the aroma is all about it makes me happy. I don’t have any specific memory or occasion when it became such a feel good sensation but it is one I truly enjoy.

Bacon, yes that lovely pork product. You can wrap bacon around a rock and I will enjoy every bite. Bacon is one of those smells I can catch from miles across a mountain valley coming from a hunt camp in the timber. Once while hunting early one morning in the hill country it crept into my deer blind from the next ranch over, I had to leave the blind early to go eat at our camp.
I truly believe God gives us these extra special tools to use for his good. They can bring us to a special place we may not see but we feel. They can be hurtful sometimes but I do a lot of hard work on myself when I am hurting – a lot of big hit songs came from pain.

Thanks Lord for the sensations I am blessed with and the emotions that come with them. I pray I use the gifts you have given me to honor You. Lord help me slow down to “smell the coffee” each day and oh yea, thanks for bacon.

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