Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Unmistakable Scent.....

As I was leaving the office the other evening I caught a whiff of it.  It isn't something at all definable, and it is so very, very ephemeral;  but there is no mistaking it once you've learned what it means.  It's the smell of Fall.

In writing letters to our Compassion children, I find myself regularly trying to describe things that they never have seen.  Snow and fall foliage are first among them.  Trying to describe walking on ice to a child who considers 70 degrees a chilly day?  Not a simple thing, and it's easier to describe what we see than what we smell.

Smell is embedded in our memories in a special way.  One cannot describe the smell of skunk, but has no need to do so to one who has already made its acquaintance.


As soon as I said it, all of you who know the smell smelled it in your heads.  It's the forewarning of frost on a warm, clear evening; a foretaste of fallen leaves while surrounded by green; and some yet-to-be-put-into-words breath of the shortening days.

The next morning I pulled out a sweater.  There is no point in arguing that fall didn't really start until today.


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