When I got married, there I began to notice that things were missing that I didn’t think were important before. I hadn’t taken notice of them. And I needed to fill those gaps. I remembered small things like coming home and smelling a burning candle. I remembered cleaning the kitchen, just because I felt that it would make my mom happy. I remembered sitting down to play piano and learning a new song. All of these things were small, but why did they feel so important? What was the draw from them?
I was reminded of these moments, and I tied them together when I saw a small scene from the new movie, The Giver. At one of the daily lessons, the Giver introduces music to Jonas. He leads Jonas into a room with a piano. Jonas doesn’t have a clue what the piano is supposed to do. But the Giver sits down and begins to play.
Just like music, there is something else you cannot see with your eyes. Something that’s deep inside you. Emotions
You mean like feelings?
Feelings are just fleeting—on the surface. But emotions are very deep, primal. They linger. Now Jonas, you may not know where you are or what’s happening, but don’t think. Listen! Listen to what’s calling to you from inside!
I felt a deep connection at that moment, and I felt that this was true. Small things like candles and Christmas music—“raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens”—are things that connect all of us and make us human.
It happens in Harry Potter when Hermione when she smells the Amortentia. She smells freshly mown grass, new parchment and spearmint toothpaste.
It happens to Four and his mother Evelyn when they pull out the small decorative statue that was a symbol to them both and a reminder of their love.
It is an element of the Romantic. And it is important. It isn’t nostalgia. It’s Sehnsucht. It reminds you of things as they once were and things that can be. They reflect moments where you found truth.
Even the Lord is sentimental in this way. When he introduced the sacrament to his disciples, he said, “This is my body which is given for you; this do in remembrance of me.” Every week when we partake of the sacrament, we remember our Savior and the deep and abiding love for us. The greatest hope of all.
I collect these moments that are more than mementos, and I know they are good.