The Smell of Spring

I can smell spring coming like a promise. In the cool dampness of the air, now suddenly emptied of a cutting edge (wasn’t it just a bit biting two days ago?).  In the peaty earthiness of musk and damp that belies the snow I crunched beneath my feet last week.  It’s hidden in a nearly imperceptible breeze on a starry night in March. Hesitant in its first steps, unsure of the sincerity of the invitation it has received. Humidity up. Wind low. Hope bashfully renewed.

Spring smells like hope, I think. Winter, like cheer at first, and then like dispossessed struggle.  Summer, like carelessness and easy revelry with a tinge of disappointment, late. Fall, like comfort and relief, like coming home. And spring, like hope.

Just moments ago, I saw a tiny rabbit – a bunny, as I thought of it, in perhaps  the way one only thinks as winter exhaustedly climbs its way toward warmer days.  The bunny was sprinting through grass, darting away. Hiding for just a few weeks more, until Nature gives it permission to be bold in its presence.  A tiny cottontail punctuating a brown coat, cutting through the dark. It made me smile.

And as is one’s wont, my thoughts turned immediately to summer, to hot days in the sun with the surf pounding confidently in my ears, to showers taken outdoors in late light, with cocktail set upon shelf out of reach of slightly salty water streams. To sunsets watched from decks with sundress on, hair damp, slippery glass in hand and bare feet up. To baseball games and sticky nights, freshly mowed lawns and twilights that linger past children’s bedtimes.

 Why do we rush it?

I love my seasons. I own them all – autumn most, but all, in turn. I could not live somewhere where they do not happen fully, each in their time, even if their early arrivals or late departures set me anxiously to wondering if I’ll not get my just division of the time. But why do we so want the next season to come that we immediately start thinking beyond it? Why must we see time pass so quickly?

I breathe deeply and take in the rich scent of what’s approaching. The trees will bloom soon enough. Winter will unhook her gnarled claws and retract once more into waiting. Though I ponder , a bit worriedly, whether she might slash at us once more before retreat, I give myself over to hoping.

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5 thoughts on “The Smell of Spring

  1. Pingback: In Which I Bestow Honors On People | thesinglecell

  2. Beautiful, my friend, beautiful. When I lived in the East, autumn was my favorite season. the year I graduated, Muri was still a UConn in Storrs, CT and I had an Alfa Romeo convertible (beautiful, miserable machine …). one of my fondest memories was racing down back roads with the top down in the autumn, colored leaves flying behind us in our draft. It’s interesting … after years in California, I’ve become attuned to the more subtle seasons. Winter is more like autumn here and is my favorite now.

    • Thank you; I’m glad you enjoyed it. I find the east coast to be rather lush with greenery, etc., which is why I love fall most, but I’m always very happy to see leaves bloom in spring after a long winter.

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