Why is it that certain smells evoke specific memories? Perhaps I should ask, “how,” because I know there is a very scientific explanation for this phenomenon.

It is Spring and lots of allergins are blooming, and oh how wonderful they smell as my sinuses close up…. Last night as I rode home from my Vintage Motorcycle weekly dinner meetup, I was caught in a lovely fog of a familiar scent: the honeysuckle.

Apparently, we have our own kind here: Lonicera arizonica (go figure). And it smells just like the honeysuckle I grew up with in southern Illinois, which oddly enough is actually Japanese Honeysuckle : Lonicera japonica.

I’m not a botanist, and didn’t pay much attention in plant biology class, but I know what I liked. My favorite flower is the daffodil. But a close runner-up is honeysuckle. When I was a kid I would pick the flowers, nip off the base and suck the sweet nectar out. They aren’t called “honey suckle” because they are bitter and nasty.
They only bloomed for about two months in the summer, so it was a special treat.

The fragrance was especially poignant at night. Those were nights filled with catching fireflies and long walks with my best friend, Hoka. He was a Shepherd mix and was one year older than me.

I had a pretty idlyic childhood in a lot of ways. It was great to grow up away from cities, with the enveloping comfort of the forest and friends made of frogs and turtles and birds.

Riding my motorcycle last night evoked memories of those simple days. I seem to write about those days a lot. A friend once told me that the more keys on your keychain you have, the more complicated your life is. I have too many keys right now. I need more daffodils and honeysuckle and fireflies in my life.

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