Made banana cake yesterday from scratch. Used to make it all the time because bananas have a way of going brown quickly in our house. In a way I didn't quite understand at the time, the sweet scent wafting through the house reminded me of family and laughter and simpler times, maybe because the last time I made this particular cake was before E's aneurysm in 2001.
While sampling a piece still warm from the oven, I thought how odd that something so sweet can taste so sad as well. Then I remembered the Littmus Lozenges from Kate DiCamillo's book Because of Winn-Dixie. Their effect on the characters of Kate's story is so powerful and poignant that I suspect she drew on her own sweet-sad memories to develop the concept. Hmmm. Whatever she did it's working.
Edited to add: Worth thinking about more...the connectedness of our experiences to our writing, and the power that connectedness can bring to our prose. If we're willing to open ourselves to the emotions.