By JODY BRADLEY
Aromatherapy is a relatively new art in today’s society. Practiced mostly in spas, its application can be helpful and enlightening. Aromatherapy is the practice of using fragrance to bring back memories, pleasant reflections, and thoughts of your past. You can purchase or make your own potions or create your own therapies. A good example of this is how the smell of baking cookies creating a feeling of home. The smell of popcorn popping takes people back to pleasant memories of movies, family night, and Friday night football. It is said the smell of pumpkin pie could equate to a proposal of marriage.
How about the smell of a good apple? That smell takes me back to my childhood. I remember my Pop- Pop had at least 10 apple trees around his house. The fragrant smell of the blossoms filled the air in spring and the sting of apple tree tea on my legs when I misbehaved are memorable. Throwing small apples at each other was one of our favorite past times, but what I remember most is the Apple House. Like a lot of farmers in his day my Pop-Pop had an Apple House built of rock and cement. It had a hard dirt floor and a shingled roof. Inside bins lined the wall around the room to store the apples. It was always cool and mysterious, but most memorable was the smell. Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty, Winsap, and Granny Smiths filled the air when you walked into the apple house. The temperature of the house kept the apples cool and fragrant. Bradley Loop at apple season and the smell of the Apple House is a memory both pleasant and delicious and one that lingers for years after the apple season was over.
The apple house still stands today in front of my Uncle Red and Aunt Irma’s house. My Pop-Pop, long gone, would be happy to know that. Today the house is used for farming supplies as raising a family apple orchard is no longer a viable source of income. The house still has the same roof it was originally built with. The floor is still dirt and I am sure, knowing my Aunt Irma, it is swept on a regular schedule. Even though the apples are gone, opening the door still floods your mind and senses to that fragrant smell. That’s what aromatherapy is all about, it brings back pleasant memories and takes you back, to the Apple House.
(Note: This essay was an entry in the Memory Keepers contest at this year’s Cherokee Indian Fair.)