Fall is definitely here with her earthy smells of damp leaves, wet soil, and depending upon where I am - routes walked or roads traveled, the increasingly crisp morning winds may be redolent of pine or of ocean scents mimicked by Lake Michigan.
I love fall in a melancholy sort of way. It's an ambivalence really, one full of nostalgia for those autumns of my childhood. Becoming aware of fall's earthiness also is to become keenly aware of other scents now absent. Like youth, they're grounded in another life.
Maybe somewhere in America - in her suburbs and rural communities, in urban residential neighborhoods, leaves are still raked into huge piles. In those places, maybe children continue to jump into those piles, and parents continue to nag their children to help with the raking? It's a task not unlike tormented Sisyphus's. Poor pathetic Sisyphus who continuously pushed a boulder upward, and that boulder continuously rolled back upon him.
But is there anywhere in America where piles of leaves are still being burned, still filling nostrils with a smoke- laden dampness? Oddly, it wasn't entirely an unpleasant scent. I don't really know except that today, staring at leaf patterns on my walkway, then lifting my head to absorb ambient fall aromas, I realized that scent of burning leaves most likely is gone forever.
Today, I'm reminded to enjoy the few remaining days before taking my dogs outside will require pulling on boots, hats, parkas, gloves and more; to enjoy the few remaining days before darkness settles on my neighborhood at 5:00 p.m. and Thanksgiving is on the horizon while spring seems years away!