Listening the Scent: Cow Poop and Honey, Nena Nastasiya

Note: thank you so much for sharing your scent memories and insight. As from the previous article, I would like to have an open discussion about my current research with the relation of scent and our memory. Have you ever smells something and it suddenly bring you back somewhere or smiling over a nostalgic feeling that made from it? It will be delightful to read your scent memory story!

Almost the end of March with the clear blue sky often saying hello to me from my attic studio’s window. Abcoude was getting warmer as I saw the ice cream stall in the corner of the bridge filled up with a queue. The measurement related with the virus was extended until 6th of April and the rules for keeping the distance to each other became strict. Nevertheless, the Dutch biking life still there.

I was creating a plan for a bike trip to Utrecht Centraal. At first, I am cycling step by step over a week, to found some little towns and villages on its way. Having a solitude time to take a breath before cycling back to Abcoude.

This trip got me a sweet playback scent memory through the scent in the huge green field in the countryside. It’s a combination of the cow’s poop and a fresh honey. It brings me back several months ago to the countryside scene in the same land during summer. Always creates a silly smile on my face.

My sketches in the studio are almost done on the 26th of March. Google said it will be sunny and less wind, so I decided to grab my bike (ahem, actually my friend lent it to me. Thanks Liesbeth!) and go for Utrecht Centraal! That afternoon was quite warm and the trip went well. I love Utrecht and its unique vibes. A bit sad that the Dom still in renovation since I visited the city last year.

Anyway, I thought the story will go on the way to Utrecht Centraal, but it was actually the opposite. I felt super tired when I reached Breukelen. Knowing it was still about 20 km back to Abcoude, I want to cry and laugh at the same time! (Fiuuuh my legs!) But, it ended up being a precious journey with only me, the sky, and all the green field with that smelly cow poop and honey.

Okay to be honest, that late afternoon, the poop was dominated.

My friend recently told me about her experience of seeing another dimension during her therapy session. She says it was colourful. I forgot to tell her about this late afternoon cycling memory:

The sky was layering with the purple on top, soft fresh orange, a sweet touch of yellow, and a very very very very soft blue. The sunlight was reflecting above the river. The rays moving all along the way, running together as fast as my bicycle. A young lady walking behind her dog and sheep with the silent windmill being their silhouette. All was crafting naturally with those scents as a sweet bonus.

6 PM, two-point one kilometres to Abcoude and the church bell ringing as I became closer to that town. It was all a beautiful moments on my current dimension on Earth.

The last day of March, 11:19 AM the sunlight waving through my studio’s window. I am waving back as also seeing my sketches of this spring Space Robot adventure was finished.

2:37 PM. I put my brown luggage in the car and go inside while my friend who drives me to Amsterdam prepared. Five minutes later, I see the sign of the town with one red cross line. I took a deep breath.  

All of my moments in Abcoude seems rewound in that very short time with all the scents that slowly became blurry.

I was thinking, can put it inside a small jar and bring it to Amsterdam? But hey, I think I already had a special place for this unique countryside-farm scent inside my nostalgic memory, isn’t it?

I exhaled, seeing the highway in front of me with some city buildings on the horizon.

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