WHEN PEONIES BRINGS BACK MEMORIES

With summer, my saturday morning routine changed recently. The bright mornings makes me wake up early – before eight am- as if I’m going to the office:) But no complaints since it is perfectly fine for hot New York days to get your workout out of the way. I wake up, lace up and go our for my “long run” which is not the distance you think it is, it’s just longer than my weekly runs:) which feels like a half marathon for my body sometimes but hey know your limits and listen to your body. Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 11.08.15 AM

Those runs usually give me the opportunity to catch up on my podcast game. I don’t listen  music while running, but knock down a lot of podcasts. Feels like I am more open to learning when running for some reason. Kinda meditation meets reading. When I was a kid I always fantasized about learning in my sleep, wondered if there is a mixtape that I can listen during my sleep that makes me wake up with all the information embedded in my brain – all my history books, english grammar books, some literature reads etc. I still think that it would be awesome if we can utilize sleeping time to learn more. Hey I’m just dropping some ideas here:) Anyway, sometimes the length of the podcast dictates the distance I am running, crazy but true because if i’m hooked I just don’t wanna stop as if I can’t listen it when I’m not running. Few of my favorites are Note to Self & Start Up – give them a shot, you will thank me later.

At the end of the podcast – technically end of my run – I stop by at the mini TriBeCa farmer’s market where I pick some fresh greens, fruits, flowers and head back to home for a big breakfast. This weekend the flower selection was at the market was peonies. Love at first sight, the color, the texture, the smell… wanted to buy all of them. After grabbing the fuchsia bouquet, did head back home. They do smell amazing. I was carrying them with my left hand while holding the other bags on the right. While walking I started drawing into the smell more and more. Kept them closer to my nose and keep smelling five six blocks non-stop. Here is the crazy thing, I either stopped smelling flowers or no other flower smells that good these days. The longer I have them in my nose somethings started coming up. Like a flashback moment but in a weird way. It did disappear while I was not smelling them and continued building up when I got back to smelling. So question? Is there a link between the scents and the memories? Yeah I get that it reminds you few bites from the past but my experience was as if tuning into an old movie and keep watching it in my head.

What was the movie?

That episode from my childhood with my grandfather – who I lost last year so unexpectedly – popped up in my mind. I consider myself as a lucky kid since I grow up playing outdoors, running around in the gardens of my grand parents, picking apples and figs from the trees, having picnic with my friends and actually walk in the grass  barefoot. The backyard of my grandparents house was that mini garden bed where we planted carrots, tomatoes, peppers and during summer my task was to pick them from the garden for my mom’s dinner preparations. I felt so important to accomplish the task everyday, hey no tomatoes no food good, right? 🙂 Next to that garden bed, there was this huge camomile field where I was telling my mom that I was swimming in it. If she didn’t see me around she knew where to find me:) My Camomile Sea! It felt like I was swimming in it just because I was too short and flowers were really tall. All my mom could see from the window was my head on that garden. I was only allowed to swim there though with my grandfather – he was watching me while I was jumping around. Just so you have the context, he was the most nature friendly person I have ever seen in my life to that day. Always walking in the garden barefoot – telling me that it was his secret to be “stress free” – picking veggies and fruits from the tree and eating them without washing [my mom didn’t like that part but we did it anyways] He was an insane reader and I believe that is where I get my never not reading genes. Every morning he grabbed his newspapers, go to the backyard, sit under the shade of a fig tree and read them all, non stop. When he was tasked to watch me in my camomile sea, he was climbing to the most comfy part of the fig tree and keep reading while having an eye on me. We were sometimes hunting fresh eggs from the chickens in that garden and made our own eggs with those fresh picks. Such an amazing childhood memories to have. I miss him so much since he has gone since I couldn’t find the chance to say goodbye just because I was too far away. But on the other hand that kept my memories with him so young and fun.

Today when I picked the peonies and smelled them, thats where they took me to. To that camomile garden, to that amazing smell of my childhood summers, to my fun times with my grandpa’ and reminded me how much I missed him. Rest in peace grandpa’ Thank you for my unforgettable memories with you.

Ayca Xxxx

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