The sense of smell is the first of all senses to develop.
Even before birth, the sense of smell is fully formed and functioning.
Recently I stumbled upon this poem by Galina Krasskova, and I cannot seem to stop thinking about it:
Someone asked me once
if i could sense by scent
when You are near.
They wanted to know,
what the musk and aroma of a God
I had to stop.
How to put these things into words?
The vocabulary has not been invented yet.
You are so many things:
the smell of a place where many have died
the darkness of mystery – dank and bloodwarm,
the tang of the sky at the peak of a storm
and the howling of its winds if such sound
could carry with it keen-sharp scent.
You are steel in the cold,
the silent winter’s night
when not even the fiercest of beasts
but all watch
with glittering eyes from their lairs:
They too are wary of Your passing.
Yours is the smell of savagery
cunning, and an ecstasy
worlds were born
in the wake of its devastation.
I cannot hold it,
not even to craft a drop of its essence
You are the presence
on the battlefield
a century after the last man fell,
the savor of remembrance
the shattering laughter,
a roar in the void,
and the echo of its silence.
You are fury,
oh that monk was right:
you indeed are fury
the glorious, joyous savagery
at the moment two armies meet in battle
at the moment you penetrate hidden power
at the moment you seize the trail of your prey
at the moment, every moment
when that which is in you bubbles over
and burns into those who raise their lips
in adoration to You
and we drink
You are Master of the Hunt
and we are all Your prey
if we are fool enough
to stumble in the path
of Your desires.
As to scent,
forget what I have written here.
You will know when He comes
how poorly the senses translate
the vast joy-terror of His passing.
You will know
when you too
are marked with His scent.
You will know
when it is far, far too late
(posted on her blog 12 October 2015)