A shuffling of memories tugged at my thoughts as I began frying the bacon, supporting research that the sense of smell is a strong memory trigger. As the aroma strengthened, so did the nostalgic tugs. By the time I placed the bacon and eggs on my plate and sat down to eat, I was compelled to turn off the television and leave the cell phone in the living room to allow the memories full stage during my breakfast. This was a conscious effort to practice mindfulness, to clear my space of all distractions and focus on the task at hand.
The varied memories included half-way waking to the sounds of Momma in the kitchen cooking for Dad before daylight – quiet muffled voices, the spatter of grease popping in the skillet as the smell of bacon made it up the stairs; weekends with gravy and biscuits added to the menu, summer afternoon BLT’s chowed down before afternoon naps, and pancake stacks slathered with syrup that sweetened the bacon, too.
More memories tagged along. Chatter, questions, laughter, clinks of silverware, dishes sliding along the table, the occasional scolding, and the reminder of whose turn it was to scrape the dishes or wash and dry, sure to fire up negotiations between siblings bent on altering the schedule, filled the kitchen.
My parents needed no reminders to be mindful. Tablets and phones did not diminish gazes, smiles and dialogues from the rich tapestry of ordinary life evident in all those childhood times.
(This first appeared in the Wednesday, March 18th issue of the Prospect-News in Doniphan, MO.)