Walking back from dropping his brother at school this morning, my middle son suddenly shouted out, “I don’t see Topanga, but I smell it!” Asked what does it smell like, he responds, “It smells like mountains full of bears.”
We were in the Bay Area, far from Topanga Canyon and many miles (I think) from the nearest bear. So what was he smelling? The sun was out and shining on the trees, so perhaps it was the smell of morning sun warming up the trees.
We hadn’t been together in Topanga since late summer. It was a good reminder of how smell can trigger strong memories. And as we never saw a bear in Topanga, it also shows how young minds blend fact and fiction seamlessly. Now I am wondering how to include protecting natural smells in our conservation plans!