Driving home the other night, it was warm enough to put the windows down a bit. As I drove up our "country" road, I breathed in deeply. There it was. The familiar smell that accompanies warmer weather in our neck of the woods. I smiled. When I was a child, I hated this smell, and would beg my parents to put up the windows when out for drives or visiting friends of theirs. My dad would always exclaim, "There's nothing like it!" I thought he was nuts. How could you be excited about THAT?
How we change as we get older. I'll never be as enthusiastic about it as my father, but I have grown accustomed to it. While it's not usually thought of as a pleasant smell, there's symbolism behind it. It represents life and growth. Of the changing seasons. It also represents space and freedom and peace. If you can smell this, there's a different pace of life nearby.
What was this smell? Cow manure. I live near a few farms, all of which raise cattle (beef & dairy). You can't have a farm in the middle of a big city. You need green pastures and lots of space. From the manure comes fertilizer for plants and more green pastures. From the cows come food and a livelihood for families, some of them who've been farming for centuries. Let's not forget the calves either! So cute. And yet, less than 10 miles away is a city with an Ivy League university and one of the country's best hospitals. It's like living in another world. And I love that.
(And yes, I blogged about poop.)