Summer’s Smell: A Meditation
I often sigh in bliss of the smell of summer. I much prefer summer to winter, but what exactly does summer smell like? I’m not talking about smells associated with summer, like fruit and grass and sweat and chlorine. Certain candies, sugars in popsicles and shaved ice, the sand on beaches, sunscreen. I’m thinking of those first few moments of summer after all the winter has gone away in spring; we step outside and we can just tell it’s the beginning of a new summer.
I guess the easiest answer is that we can smell the warmth; after all, summer is warmer than spring, which is how we know of the transition between the two seasons. But, really? Can we smell warmth? Can we smell the green of full summer? Does the sun make the world smell a certain way when it heats the world up? Do the bugs and the green trees contribute to that summer smell?
I’m going to postulate, very unscientifically, that we can smell heat and the color green. We can smell the teem of trees and the birth of bugs, the anticipation of paradisical weather and of many, many outdoor parties under warm nights. We can smell the possibility of sprinkler shrieks and soaked gasps, and we can also smell the exhaustion of the entire body as it flops onto the bed after a heavy, hot day.
What a beautiful scent, the aroma of summer.