it’s official

April 18, 2010 at 9:02 am 2 comments

A couple of weeks ago the girls were putting on felt flower head bands in purple and pink and rehearsing, again and again, a synchronized short presentation of Spring. They’d practice in the bedroom and then rush out to stand, very seriously waiting for Bella (always older thus always in charge) to signal the beginning. Then they’d do a stomp-stomp-twirl-bow kind of thing and shout: “Spring has sprung!”

It was super awkward, not very synchronized, and very cute, but even though it was after the equinox, in the midst of Easter and sort of sunny, it still didn’t ring true. Bouts of whipping cold wind, snow, and no leaves on anything, had me doubtful. But this morning while letting the dog out I finally smelled it.

Spring is in the nose.

Sure there are now a few leaves on the lilacs and some bold daffodils poking their heads out but more importantly it smells like Spring. Growing up in California I never knew about these smell distinctions, every day smells green and yellow, but after eight years in Montana I now know that smell is everything. When the world is cold, for instance during the seven months of Winter, there is no smell. Of course you could count the smell of ice and snow, and there is a variety of those smells, they are the smell of blue and white. But if those aren’t the scents you are thinking of then you’ve got to wait.

As the earth warms there is first the smell of dirt. Cold dirt, the dirt that is just beneath the icy crust, and it’s scent is faint and brown. Then a bit later you can smell bark, a kind of dry whisper of a smell, greyish in nature. Then there is the scent of grass, wet weak grass. And then after weeks of these well-intentioned but mild scents, in a rush that happens seemingly overnight, an orchestra of smells emerge. Grass, new leaves, warm dirt, wet sidewalks, sun warmed skin, and blossoms. It stops you in your tracks. It makes me want to cry. It is an onslaught of nostalgia and hope.

Soon summer smells will come and I will love those too, especially the scent of my child that has been playing all day at the river, but those smells, although fantastic, come at a time of scent surplus and thus carry less emotional weight. Spring smells arrive after two hundred days of scent starvation.

That’s where I am today, punched in the heart by the aroma of Spring.


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bookends of horror with little miracles in between sexy no matter what my boobs look like

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kris  |  April 18, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    it’s supposed to be 40 degrees on wednesday. makes today even more spectacular (my cheeks feel crispy)

  • 2. Joanna Smetanka  |  April 20, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Andy and I were just talking about how we EARN spring in such a big way here. I’m so glad I don’t live somewhere that is constantly sunny, because I would never feel absolutely ELATED by something as simple as the sun shining on my face if I did. It’s such a rejuvenating feeling, miraculous.


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