I associate seasons with moments, and I almost always associate those moments with smells. The sense of smell is powerfully connected with memory, such that catching a whiff of a certain smell can bring back the memory associated with it in full, visceral force. This is what spring smells like to me.
The smell of hyacinths and lilacs is the smell of Easter when I was a little girl. In my memory, the day was always fresh and bright, and I went to church wearing my new dress and hat, and white patent leather Mary Janes with lacy white socks.
The smell of fresh cut grass is the smell of my dad working in the yard while listening to baseball games on AM radio. That combination of smell and sound is still one of the safest things in the world to me.
The smell of mulch is the smell of college, and the boy I loved then.
While not a smell specific to spring, the smell of Pampers Swaddlers always means spring to me. It is the smell of the first weeks of E's life, late spring almost 3 years ago, when everything was perfect and beautiful and nothing could convince me otherwise. Sometimes, in Target, I stop to smell the Swaddlers, and I feel all the possibility and promise of spring, and that tiny new life.
It takes time for the smell of something to cement itself as an association in my mind. Spring here is almost garish, bursting into bloom overnight, and smells are everywhere. This time in my life doesn't have a smell yet, but I know it will. I wonder what the moment of watching E learn to ride a bike will smell like 10 years from now, when he is thirteen and wants nothing to do with me. When I am driving that sullen teenager to the mall or soccer practice, what smell will I catch a whiff of and be back in the moment of watching my little boy on his tiny red bike?
What does spring smell like to you? What memories are associated with those smells?
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