Southern smells

May 15, 2007

For the past few weeks we have been experiencing some serious smoke from all of the surrounding fires. We flew over the largest fire on our return from California and it was quite a sight at night... angry fiery welts spreading through swamp and forests. The morning after we arrived I woke with a start because their was such a strong smell of smoke I was sure the house was on fire. The rest of that day was very strange and reminded me of camping in the northwest. There were periods of drizzle throughout the day, heavy smoke which looked liked fog, and the smell of a smoking campfire (but without the fun of smores). The next day was sunny and very windy with a tropical storm off the coast and it reminded me of Okinawa when a typhoon was brewing. But since those two strange days we have suddenly had some smoke free days (although the fires continue) and the smells of the South have been in the air. Jasmine blooming on fences, magnolia trees heavy with blooms, gardenias starting to bloom with their intense perfume. These smells feel like home to me. When my friend, Summer was visiting we took a walk along the river and talked about how different environments can leave an imprint on you. For me oak trees, prairiescapes, rice fields, azaleas, and the scent of jasmine, gardenias, and boiled crawfish will always produce a gutteral feeling and connection to home.

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