Nature Notes December 2014

by Jessie Blunt

The soil is heavy, the paths are muddy and the light can sometimes be disorientating.

As I take this in, another sense takes me over completely – smell. The leaves, mulch and broken wood give off a powerful scent which increases in potency as I breathe it in. As the smell intensifies it becomes sweeter, until it is more like the fragrance of summer roses. It evokes strings of memory which weave into an experience beyond itself, into something new.

There are so few words to describe smells; we have an olfactory memory which is an associative thing and we only seem to be able to describe it by saying it is like something else. This smell has become unlike anything else and although it conjures up experience it is also creating it. Night sets in early and so do I.


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