April 9, 2006

Sunday, April 9, 2006

Life Lessons: The Scent of a New Day

Walking out each morning to pick up the newspaper is a perfect time to greet the new day and appreciate the fresh start it brings. I listen to, I look at, and I certainly smell the awakening world. The fragrance of an early morning is often fragile, faint, requiring a little more attention than the looking and listening do.

First of course, I always smell the weather. Coming rain, an approaching snowstorm, even the hot dry heat of summer, each has a subtle scent. If it's precipitating, that mositure, too, has its very own perfume, and during an unusual early morning thunderstorm, you can certainly smell the ozone of the lightning. On some frigid winter mornings, the cold itself has a clean and clear breath.

But richest of all are the ever-changing scents of the seasons. In the winter, there's often a waft of woodsmoke, sometimes the evergreens, especially the fir balsams, give off a wonderful scent, and there's also occasionally the all-too-obvious odor of the cat spruce! The air often seems especially pure in winter, making those man-made smells such as the diesel fumes from snowplows and gas-and oil combination from the neighbors' snowblowers even more... intrusive.

In springtime the earth exhales its own perfume, long before the trees bud or the flowers bloom. It is the smell of green, of freshness, of a crisp clean. I often wonder in April... does hope have a scent?

There are not words enough to describe the bouquet of a summer morning. Now remember, this five-senses centering is only a very few minutes each morning, but smell most of all can saturate your very being in those few moments. The lilacs, the roses, the sharp sweetness of the tall bearded irises all stand out. But one of my most favorite summer scents is the the dusty-attic smell of bridal wreath. Sometimes I just close my eyes and try to pick one flower's fragrance out of the hundreds and hundreds in the garden. Heliotrope is... delicious!

The days begin to cool, the mornings start to dawn later and there is the nutty smell of the drying leaves in the fall. The air is redolent of apples hanging heavy on branches or becoming tangy on the ground. The smell of the earth itself is as strong as in the spring, but it's very different in this season. First it's the ripening smell of harvest gathering, then in late fall there's that hint of death and decay perhaps. While, to me, spring smells so... new, autumn mornings smell so ... melancholy. But later in the day, standing around a small mound of burning leaves, sipping fresh cider, I take a deep breath and realize that each new day, no matter what the season, brings to each of our senses... great promise.


1 comment:

alice Goldsmith said...

Oh ,the wonderful days of spring.
Crocus,daffodiles,and tulips......to see them starting to bloom is heaven.Alice