I close my eyes and think through my nose: what can I breathe in so I may feel better after living the longest day of my life?

Who am I fooling when I say that I shall stop to smell the flowers? Flowers to me are more pleasing to the eyes than taking them into my nostrils. But if my nose alone could sense comfort out of the things that surround me, I shall take a pause, a deep breath, and be comforted by three scents: the scent of a newborn baby, the scent of fresh raindrops, and the scent of early morning coffee.

The scent of a newborn baby…ah! Addictive like drug-the kind that takes you to the clouds and liberates you from the thoughts that darken your skies. Always sweet like powder, always fragrant like clean laundry. I am soothed by the reminiscence of the going through labor pains, enduring child birth and sustaining motherhood. Taking in the scent of a newborn baby is like taking in new life as well; it revives me. That to me is comforting.

The scent of fresh raindrops, and even the ones that have dried on the pavement, petrichor they call it, gives me a stir and takes me back to summers years back when rain was unexpected but once it had fallen, it had given me memories to cherish like dancing in the rain with a summer fling, getting soaked with chums, and writing poems with head resting on the window with the wet world in sight. Taking in petrichor gives me more than just memories of summer-it gives me hope for a fresh start, an anticipation for a rainbow, a desire for solitude. That to me is comforting.

The scent of early morning coffee, the one thing I always look forward to. Starting a day with a cup of latte is giving myself an opportunity to  breathe in lifeblood. The scent of coffee prepares me for the day ahead. As I breathe it in, I am reminded of how special I am as a person and how grateful I am to have sustained the life I am living. The scent of coffee reminds me how blessed I am to have woken up to a new day, and pushes me to keep breathing no matter what. That to me is comforting.


And whenever I think through my nose, I realize, it is only then that I understand what my life is all about.

From the yeasty warmth of freshly baked bread to the clean, summery haze of lavender flowers, we all have favorite smells we find particularly comforting. What’s yours?



First Hour in the Morning

I knew was doing the right thing not minding the puddles of rain and how stepping on them stains my legs on this drizzling Tuesday.

First stop: I was annoyed for the second time this week (and a dozen times over the past week) by hard-headed jeepney drivers who continued to bark on passengers to get on even if they were not at the proper loading zone. I snare at them just about every morning because I am a firm believer that the way to beat their non-abiding tendencies is not to tolerate getting on a jeepney where it is improper (and I am more annoyed by passengers who are equally insensitive). Just when I was about to curse the day as I walked away from the situation when I would have to give a lecture on a public utility vehicle driver a lesson on traffic rules, somebody offers me a ride. Thanks Kaye for taking pity on your former teacher and letting her hitch on your flashy car.

Now at my office, where I look forward to a coffee date with myself, I felt glad despite the fact that I timed in 28 minutes late, because it was exam week anyway so I had plenty of time ahead to take pleasure on my latte. It was also a bonus when the canteen served choco rotti as coffee mate. Thanks canteen lady for adding to sweetness to my bland coffee life.

Just when I was about to wrap up my 15-minute coffee break, the birthday girl served puttanesca as thanksgiving. She started talking about prostitutes in Italy who were to tired to cook and just sauteed pasta that is why the pasta was called puttanesca. Thanks Di Rose for the trivia, the pasta and the opportunity that I might skip lunch today. And happy birthday again.

All these things happened at the first hour of the morning. At least there are three things to be thankful for at the first hour. They would be enough for me to go on for the rest of the day.

Good morning, Tuesday.