Where does the smell of pine trees take you? It takes me back to Christmas morning in just a few seconds.
The smell of chicken roasting? That’s the ticket to memories of big noisy family dinners at my grandparents’ house.
Suntan lotion? I’m back baking on the beach as a teenager with my friends, radios humming at our heads.
To me, few smells trigger memories of summers past more than the aroma of newly-cut grass. I drove through a cloud of it yesterday and smiled. One of my chores as a teenager was mowing the front lawn. I knew the smell of fresh cut grass up close and personal.
But back to memories of mowing the
weeds um, lawn. I fussed about it most of
the time, but I actually liked it. Don’t tell my mother. Let her have her fond memories of forcing me
to do hard, manual labor in the hot,
It was a challenge to mow the lawn in precise lines while ducking under the
holly tree in
the front yard. When mockingbirds were nesting, I had to push the mower with
one hand while swinging a dog leash over my head to keep the protective birds
from taking chunks out of my scalp. The cut grass would turn my white sneakers
a beautiful green and the insects would make my ankles and calves scratch. Did
I say I actually liked this? Florida
When I was finished, I’d sit in a lawn chair on the driveway with a cold lemonade or tall glass of ice water and cool off. The mower made ticking sounds beside me as it cooled off, too. The lawn was once again neat and tidy and I was once again covered in grass and rubbing my ankles together to scratch the itch.
It promised long, salty days at the beach followed by barbeques in the backyard. It promised Fourth of July celebrations, firecrackers and sparklers, Girl Scout camp and late night swims in the backyard pool. It promised vacations to cool mountains and cold mountain streams. It promised tossing and turning to try to get to sleep under a fan barely moving the warm night air. It promised the sound of crickets carrying on their quiet, insistent concert in hibiscus bushes outside of bedroom windows. It promised long hours chasing tiny flashes from lightning bugs, a mayonnaise jar in one hand, metal lid with holes punched in it in the other. It promised coconut scented suntan lotion and big sunhats, warm breezes and clear skies, and lying on blankets in backyards at night giggling with friends and looking at stars.
Yes, the smell of newly cut grass still makes me smile at the sweetness of summers past and promises kept.
(c) Copyright 2012 Ruth Hartman Berge
Pictures from Photobucket