Something in the air

Pink springtime blooms near Eindhoven city centre. Photo credit by: Ingar Brunnett

Since lockdown, I have noticed (as well as many of our neighbours around the globe) that the air quality has drastically changed outside.  Many of us are seeking mindful ways to return to a balanced lifestyle.  It may be moments like these to encounter beautiful and positive memories during challenging times.  It also gives us a chance to reflect on the earth’s powerful natural healing properties.    

Anywhere in the world, I am in any city, town, village or nature escape, I have always recognized a particular smell to the place. It varies and intensifies on certain days.  I grew up in the city of San Francisco in Northern California.  Nearby our neighbourhood was the Maxwell House Coffee manufacturing factory.  I recall the mornings when the air outside carried a scent of over-toasted coffee beans.  I want to add that this was not a bad scent memory.  That in itself against the backdrop of the often fog blanketed city infused in me soothing olfactory memories of days gone by.  In my later years, I lived in sublime Florida.  I recall driving through a neighbourhood along the city’s riverside and the same fragrance of toasted umber sent flashbacks to San Francisco.  I looked up and saw the Maxwell House Coffee factory yet again.  The smokiness did blend well with the balmy air of this small coastal city in Florida.  So, there are certain fragrance memories I have mixed in with city living.  Since I am now in downtown Eindhoven there are smells that identify specifically here.

Prior lockdown, as I walked through the centre there was always an infusion taking place in this grooving little big city.  Some good and others not too good. 

There were, of course, the luscious scents lingering from the local bakery, freshly brewed espresso from the bagel place and roasted tomatoes with savoury garlic when walking past an Italian eatery.  The not so lovely in the overall scheme of things was that of smog, the exhaust from mopeds and just the complexity of stagnant air which is common in city living.  There’s also the aftermath of Stratumseind.  Again, depending on the weather outside, the dew point, the direction of the wind and my displeasure; some days were worse than others.  On the days the more despicable scents and sounds thickened the air outside I would wonder how long can this go on?   Then my ears would advert to the birds chirping without a worry in their little hearts.  Interestingly enough, the intoxicating scents can be both beautiful and unsettling.

A little more clarity and breathability. 

I have noticed some drastic changes in air quality.  Some days better than others.  But so much better than yesteryear.  Many of us have noticed even more so as our olfactory senses have cleared up just because of all of this.

The air is truly lovely right now in the present moment.  What is Eindhoven’s fragrance like right now?  It indeed smells just like fresh air.

For Eindhoven News: Ingar





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