Smell

by G. Sax, @gsax

No photo today. Nothing visual other than what is triggered by what you read.

Ever left a place and then returned? Years later. To the same spot at about the same time of the year.

Perhaps a timeshare in Ocean City, Maryland earlier in the season than most arrive. The Atlantic Ocean, with its rich, frothy salt smells enlivening your nasal passages, is solely yours.

The annual trip with "the girls" to Palm Springs, California. You don't realize how much you miss the desert breezes until you are taking in the aroma of your oversized glass of Pinot Grigio mingled with the scent of firewood burning from the glorious outdoor fire pit.

Are you a hunter? Then it's that favorite field at the start of deer season when the air is crisp and silent and…

Perfect.

I enjoy the smell of Halloween in Saint Paul, especially in March.

Hear me out. My kids and I pinned last Sunday's late-March evening to October 31 just from the smell. Changing seasons, changing temperatures, changing earth.

Where some feel the cruel trick of allergy, I am allowed to be purely absorbed by springtime folly.

It got above 70 degrees yesterday, so I went for a run down to the local park. Quick background: I lived in my current neighborhood as a kid. I moved away for 20 years. I moved back. Now I wander the same streets and pathways as a full-fledged adult that I did when I was breaking curfew.

Marydale Park was hopping yesterday with families, dog walkers, loiterers, and runners. That's a big deal for the home park.

I noticed the extra bustle, but what I was particularly keyed on was the smell of trees budding and swaying, a lake newly unfrozen, and grass growing. Each intake of air brought me back 20 and 30 years. Smell is a great transporter if you let it.

What great smells evoke time and place for you?

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