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Sensory at Its Best

Sensory at Its Best Cover Image

Mardi Long

July 26, 2022

We say things like “wake up and smell the coffee” or “stop and smell the roses.” In other words, take time to engage with and absorb the beauty and wonder that surrounds us every day. What allows us to do this is our senses.

As I often do, I go to my Merriam-Webster dictionary app that is on my phone where I can quickly access it. There I find a very long definition that contains 7 parts. That is a lot even for Webster. Perhaps that is because there is so much more depth to this concept that we realize. So let me provide a short version of what is there:

1.   A meaning conveyed or intended

2.   [a list of clarifications]

a.   The facility of perceiving by means of sense organs

b.   A specialized function or mechanism (such as sight, hearing, smell, taste or touch)

c.   The sensory mechanisms…(such as movement or thought)

3.   Conscious awareness or rationality – usually used in plural

a.   Finally came to his senses

4.   [a list of examples]

a.   A particular sensation…

b.   A definite but often vague awareness or impression…

c.   A motivating awareness

d.   A discerning awareness and appreciation

Since this is not English class, let’s get to how this can be applied to our everyday lives. Now if you Google this you will find that some say we have many more senses than just the basic five. And that is fun to explore for sure. But here, I want to just focus on the basic five as in the definition above and apply these senses to the different things we encounter each day. Note that we seldom use only one of our senses at a time.

For example, take wine. It touches all five of our senses.

·        We see it: red, white, rose’.

·        We hear it: as we pour it into the glass and swirl the glass to see the “legs”

·        We hear it: as it is being poured – if it is champagne we see and hear the bubbles

·        We touch it: through the glass as we hold it – most often cool to the touch

·        We taste it: as it enters our mouth and give off those vague characteristics that I personally find hard to distinguish

·        We feel it: as is goes down your throat – perhaps it tingles or give off heat, etc.

No wonder we like wine so much 😊.

One more example. We look up at night and see the heavens above. We can’t hear anything. We can’t touch anything, We can’t taste anything. We can’t feel anything with our physical sensory like through our fingers.

No, we can only see it. And, yes, feel something as with Webster’s fourth definition above.  A particular sensation, A definite but often vague awareness or impression, A motivating awareness, A discerning awareness and appreciation.

 No wonder we are so intrigued by outer space: filled with wonder, our curiosity on fire.

So next time you go on a walk, try determining which senses are being awakened. Be more aware and appreciative. Smell the “roses”, hear the birds, touch a tree, see the sun shining through the trees. Enjoy and absorb the world around you. Relax, grow & glow!

 P.S. If you want to do more space exploration, I highly recommend the Sky View app. It combines GPS and stored images and is really quite intriguing and fun to play with. That is how I captured the picture above.