Last week while we were driving home from an early morning run on Coronado Island, we both rolled down the car windows to enjoy the surprisingly cool and beautiful weather. . .and immediately I caught the smell of freshly mown grass.
Within an instant I was back to my childhood, running through the yard while my Dad cut the lawn and my Mom gardened. I can picture exactly what everything looked like, what it smelled like, and exactly what it felt like.
We were blessed to grow up in a house with a huge yard, and as kids, there was really nothing better. You could find us out there anytime of the year, but especially in the Summer – drawing with chalk on the driveway, rollerskating, running through sprinklers, building “houses” in the wooded area by the mailbox, or even running over to the neighbors yard to eat the fresh mulberries off of their mulberry tree.
I’d bug my Mom while she gardened, and she’d teach me about the different plants and flowers, and how to take care of them. My brother, sister and I would take turns “driving” the lawnmower with my Dad. And sometimes you could find me running through the backyard to “secretly” clip some of the freshly bloomed lilacs as a surprise for my parents, or making bouquets from the lily of the valley that grew along the side of our yard.
I remember the sunlight, and how it poured through the willow tree. I remember being convinced that a family of elves lived in one of the pine trees. I remember the salt lick that my parents would set out for the deer, but that our dog Chelsea really just thought was there for her own personal enjoyment. I remember my brother chasing me around the yard with sticks or anything else that he could find to terrorize me with. And I remember my sister rallying us all to build a homemade Slip ‘n Slide, participate in skits, or go for bike rides.
I had no idea that all of these memories (and so many more) were tied to that bright, clean smell of a freshly cut lawn. But there I was, driving home with my head up in the clouds, dreaming about so many happy moments, and so many blessings. . .all because of the silliest little smell of grass.