Nasal Ecstasy

harvest
Us, 25 years ago… We were almost struck by a rogue bolt of lightning one day on the hill in the background.

IF MY SOUL HAD A SMELL it would smell like mint. We drank it and played in it, waist-deep, when we were little. Its vibrant, heady fragrance has infused my whole life. 

The ancient Romans personified it as “Menthe,” the water nymph loved by Pluto, god of the underworld. Pluto’s queen became jealous and trampled fair Menthe, turning her into a humble plant. But Pluto decreed that the more mint was bruised the sweeter it would smell. (I can vouch for that last part.)

Mint is a popular herb in the Middle East, where it’s used in salads, roasts, and many other dishes. I was delighted to find bulging sacks of fresh spearmint at a market in Jerusalem. I crushed some of the leaves between my hands and the aroma immediately took me back to the verdant fields of home.

img_20160402_132650
My cousin was flying. I was behind the camera.

It smelled like life.

It smelled like my mom’s laundry room during harvest time and reminded me of how safe I felt as a child, knowing that my dad, grandpa, and uncles were working around our house while I slept. Daddy would come home late at night from the distillation facility that he designed, and I could smell him long before I heard his footsteps in the hallway. No matter how quiet he tried to be, the concentrated odor of mint–mingled with dust and sweat–always announced him.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.–2nd Corinthians 2:14 NIV

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.–Ephesians 5:1-2 NKJV

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