a fragile and lovely
unfolds its gleaming foliage
breast of the fostering Earth,
if the dew and the rain draw it forth;
So doth my tender mind
if it be fed with the sweet dew of the fostering spirit,
Lacking this, it beginneth straightway to languish,
even as a
flower born upon dry earth,
if the dew and the rain tend it
truth is found in the simple and
intricate messages of smell.
I smelled the wind today.
precisely it smelled like I can not say.
Only that there was a hint of
spicy pine and the rich scent of wet earth.
I have been thinking about
smells because I have never truly noticed them before.
I live in a
house in the country, far beyond the limits of the city and nestled along the
shores of Lake Superior.
The area around me is heavily wooded with a
winding dirt road that cuts a clearing through the
dark recess of the
forest is a hub of continuous activity.
The light, playful sounds of the many birds and squirrels, and the
heavier cracks and thumps of deer and other large animals as they go about
their day, are constant.
Numerous small streams trickle from within
these hidden areas and run laughing through culverts under the road to the
In the summer, the floor of the
fascinates me with the soft
moss and beautiful, delicate
flowers that carpet the ground
beneath the towering trees.
In the winter, I love the way the snow lies
heavily on the boughs of the evergreens and the quiet the deep
On a walk early one
morning, while I was admiring
the melting snow and enjoying the warmth of the sun on my back, that it hit
The wind had a smell!
Not just a smell, but every scent from
every item in the vast wilderness around me was carried
by the wind.
I had not been aware of it before, I understood perfectly
that these scents contained a message - the messages of scent carried aloft by
ancestors once mastered the secrets locked in these scents, but that
ability has been lost to me: I can understand, however, that these messages
cannot be unlocked by my conscious mind.
I know that these
scents can only be translated by
the subconscious instincts within me.
imagine that the language of
scent can be both simple and complex.
Each scent is unique.
Scents cannot lie and they cannot bluff.
Animals sniff their food and learn to
distinguish by smell what is safe to eat and what will make them sick.
There is no deceit or treachery in a smell; there is only the truth.
Perhaps this is why humans have lost the ability to understand the
language of scent.
We use our language to hide,
to confuse and, only
rarely, to tell the truth.
People have forgotten the truth of
The truth is found
in the simple and intricate messages of smell.
Smell is the silent,
fragrant language of nature.
- adapted from Lynley
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