The smell of summer is in the air. It doesn’t always smell the same but it does have distinct smells. For us in Northern Minnesota the Iilacs are just starting to bloom and their sweet fragrance is a sure sign of summer.
While I was taking a hike on the Superior Hiking Trail the other day I experienced another summer scent. It was early in the day and there was still a heavy dew on the plants and ground. The sun was heating up the earth and a thick musky smell hung in the air. The cold river water cutting through the gorge also had a distinct smell. Each wildflower has its own unique scent that tempts a person to bend down for a closer sniff. Even the air coming off of Lake Superior has a distinctly fresh and crisp smell that beckons people to come and touch the water.
Scents are strange. They have a way of bringing back memories. A freshly cut lawn reminds me of the last days of school back when I was in elementary school. Certain perfumes remind me of different times during my life or of different people. Even air fresheners can trigger some memories of long ago.
My friend Diane who suffered a brain injury this winter still can’t taste or smell. The elementary students in my children’s class thought of lots of good things for her to try to taste or smell. They insisted she smell the shoe of the kid with the stinkiest foot and wanted to see her eat dog food. We talked about what it would be like to not be able to smell or taste. I even had to tease her by smelling those nummy flavored markers in Josh’s classroom. Rootbeer, lemon, orange and grape, I love them all.
I decided I would much rather be able to smell than to taste. Baby lotion, chocolate chip cookies, suntan oil and even Josh & Abby’s hockey bags are scents I don’t want to live without. I take time to smell the flowers and hope you’ll take the time to savor and appreciate summer and all of her smells.