My House Smells

Beautiful Young Woman Outdoors. Enjoy Nature. Meadow

I want my house to smell as welcoming as warm cookies, as sedated as clean linens, as invigorating as lemonade from the stand. Natural. Gathering my lighter to fire-up the candles, but I don’t have enough in the same scent. I reach for a cranberry/orange, and a fresh balsam, a cookie crumbs, a vanilla holiday, a pine needles, and a frosted mulberry candle. With each simultaneously glowing and scattered through the rooms—this house will smell better soon or I’ll ignite from an allergic reaction.

Yea, I know your house never suffers from this malady. Yours is more like freshly laundered sheets and orchids.

It’s not just my house. My life could use a fresh scent, only, I can’t settle on the right mix. Some days I’m as tart as apple peels, others like a zebra let loose from her stripes. An occasional moment has me reclining with a stretch a bit too reaching. I don’t know how I should smell. These emotions run together like streams converging into a river. I don’t even know what I want for dinner. You pick. But no rabbit. Or squirrel. Or chicken liver.

Have you ever wondered if God always eats oatmeal for breakfast or if He is satisfied with a bit of nuts in His pancakes? Does His world twirl as precisely as sunset and sunrise? Would He pout if I missed out on the lecture in return for a quiet conversation? Does His kitchen smell like mine in the morning?

God, my world is zips and zaps in competing twists. Today looks like rest when I need it to be a tree laden with oranges. Productive and focused. Oftentimes, I feel challenged because my world isn’t tidy, wrapped, and displayed with a pretty ribbon. And I want it to be.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said he had a dream. I have a dream, too, a dream that I will finish all the tasks I’ve started, that I will finish well. I shudder at the mention of a wasted life, but would rather become a beacon of God’s goodness. My list doesn’t include fame, not anymore, and it doesn’t choose perfection, although I’m obligated to perform well. I want to live as if God matters, life matters, and the people He’s placed in my care matters.

How can I live without passion, but just to coast along in some mediocre posture? It’s this passion that places me in the fast lane. Always running—eager to accomplish the desires of my God-saturated heart. Ten is never enough. It must be eleven. And then twelve. I cannot stop. Or I will die a miserable old soul.

This isn’t about armpits and dirty feet or yesterday’s pot of turnips greens floating odors around the room. It’s more like cleanness in my soul, clarity of mind, and freedom to soar. I want to live unencumbered with secondaries, to live solely for the essentials, to have a house that smells good. Everyday.



When I die they will find my remains scattered like stubborn glitter to the furthest reaches of Florida to heights of my beloved Virginia. Partial remnants will be detected in cookie crumbs resting in the crevices of my Lazy Boy. I will live forever when I die, for I have lived.

The threads of my hand-knitted dishcloths have cleansed many a counter, pot, and drinking glass. Every red, brown, green and blue strand wound through my fingers—stitch by stitch. It will live forever even when the cotton is frayed, burned, and stained, spilling out my prayers for the recipient.

When they dredge through my belongings they will discover journals of various dimensions, labels, and contents. These books hold my gratitudes, memories, ideas, non-religious rants, prayers, so many prayers. These words are written by a passionate heart, angry pen, tearful celebrator, and hopeful soul. These short and long phrases and one-word sentences will live forever through these scraps tucked into some restless mind seeking inspiration. They will resonate like a title-less song to a bleeding wound. These words will live forever for I am scraps scattered all over the world.

My soaps, my stamps, my bookmarks, ornaments, afghans, quilts, drapes, recipes, cakes, pictures, cards, letters, stories—so many stories seem buried yet they furiously knock upward from the soil like a newly resurrected sprout. They gather with speed greater than gravity releases, as they soar to places not initially intended. I’m scattered—my goodness, my evil deeds, my remorse all over the planet. Nothing stops its hungry reach.

Scraps of me, like confetti strewn over Times Square, float freely through the atmosphere as thoughtlessly as picking my teeth after a steak dinner.

My white crooked feet clad in leather straps mingled with other folks today as we shuffled soil from places near and extremely far away. Without consideration we walked on tiny grains of dirt lodged in our treads, dirt originating in countries of unknown names. We mixed together, carrying the weight of one another’s burdens, every weary walk in this world.

So cold. I slipped my hand into the pocket of Mom’s coat. My fingers bumped against butterscotch candy, her remedy for diabetes’s trouble. I smiled. She, too, remains though long since gone. The sweetness of her message warmed “all” of me with her nearness, for she too was scattered like pieces of paper.