Les parfums de la nuit

Kids and leaves are a treat for the senses. I remember when it was legal to burn leaves in the fall - that wonderful smell of neighborhood, street football, the sound of the rake (well perhaps not so wonderful). Six months ago there was ample snow...replaced now by pending ample rain and leaves.

Have you noticed that winter doesn't really smell like anything and that fall smells so much? Such a difference between now and those early days of the year and, according to the Almanac, those upcoming - or of early spring for that matter.  We are right on the water - ocean - bay and there was the barest hint of the water going back to winter-clear the other day...we could smell the salt....bits, wisps of scents... and in the evening....night perhaps....perfumes...

Sometimes we envy our pets their sense of smell. The "madelines and tea" of Proust, the kitchen on Thanksgiving morning, the woods after a rain - so many things that are big and obvious but for our pets; well they smell in nuance and remember in detail.

I envy them.  Their senses are the reference points we've lost.  We smell the leaf pile while they smell the leaf.  Perhaps in this time of sensory overload we should just take a moment and commit sights and smells to memory, to be culled up at some future time when needed for reference.  I don't know what they make of fall but they seem to enjoy it and what would normally be a 1 minute walk to the woods for our dog is now an excursion measured in hours if we would let him.

There is a lesson in there somewhere.