The Sweet Smells of Nature…


Behind our flat is a forest preserve that offers some familiar scents made more pungent by the deluge of rain these last few days.  The accompanying rise in temperature leaves the air thick with a heavy perfume that sharpens my memories.

A few days ago the rank odor of dead animal floated across the path and assailed my nostrils.  Immediately I was back at our family home on Collins where several times a squirrel, or two, expired in our chimney, or wall.

We would place cotton balls soaked in essential oils in closets to help combat the offending stench as we waited for mother nature to do her job.

That day, during my walk, I imagined a dead raccoon, or rabbit, water rat or mountain lion, coyote or apossum, buried deep in the undergrowth, rotting efficiently.  Without a posey to hold against my nose I walked briskly to escape the reeking air.

A mechanical cutter had been through last week, between the showers, and cut a swath alongside the walking path leaving the atmosphere redolent of freshly mown grass.  Sweet and sleepy reminding me that spring will slowly simmer into summer.

Today the air was thick with the heady, syrupy fragrance of a familiar perfume, more at home in a boudoir than a nature trail pathed with damp earth underfoot and a canopy of leafy trees above.

In my mind I entered the old garden, where I had sat for 30 years, and breathed the aromatic Asian jasmine that bloomed above the arbor.  I would close my eyes to better enjoy the fragrance that could have spilled from the jar of costly spikenard Mary used to anoint the feet of Jesus wiping them with her hair. (John 12:3)

I looked around to find the culprit responsible for the heady perfume the woods could not contain.

I caught sight of it running rampant over the trees exploding with the sheer joy of God’s creation.

Wild honeysuckle was linking arms with the branches



“Best Friends Forever!”

And wrapping its tendrils through the leaves it dotted the forest with its dazzling white.

Hundreds of blossoms draping the pathway with a bouquet no money could buy, a gift freely given and lavishly poured upon my head.

Blessed by God’s sweet smells of nature.

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