The Smell of Arizona

I read somewhere that smell is the sense most strongly linked to memory. They said a smell could take you back farther than a song or a photograph, pulling you into a flashback far more vivid than you ever thought possible.

Even if it wasn’t true, there was one smell I could never forget, the scent of pine trees baked in the heat, uncorrupted by the tinge of other vegetation. Just pine needles, the sun, and the stones. It was the fragrance of my grandparents’ house in Sedona.

It cropped up in the strangest places—a vineyard in Washington State, a Rhode Island Walmart parking lot—but I always knew where I’d smelled it first. I was pulling into my grandparents’ driveway at six years old, staring at pinprick stars through the car window, wondering how the world could be so big when I was so small.

Margaret Madole is a student from Connecticut. She has been known to act and dance, and occasionally to travel. She has been published in Parallax Online Literary Journal.

See more of her work in 7.2 and 7.2 again.