Writing teachers always say that the hardest sense to convey in words is the sense of smell. I keep trying to prove them wrong but damn, it’s so true.
When I smell the lake, I close my eyes and breathe in, holding the scent close as if I could capture sweet air. The smell of the lake…water, but how does water smell? Fish? Vegetation floating on the surface? Silt at the depths? Birds cresting over waves? Diesel fuel? Soap on the skin of the person sitting beside me?
You know that smell, the smell of the water… and there are no words to perfectly describe it.
Just like the morning rising. Cool air…but no, that’s the way it feels on my skin. Pink streaks of sky. Sight. I fold my fingers into fists to warm them. Touch. Slip my fleece over my head. Touch. Hear the rush of highway traffic and the peep of a bird. Sound.
What is the scent of morning?
Sound is easier to translate but even still, when I hear a familiar song, it takes me back to a time and a place and often, a person. I am grounded by experiences that defy apt description in word.
The kids are with Avy this morning, scurrying to get ready for school. I slept long and well and awoke in the near-dark to accomplish my day. On my iTunes, the Gipsy Kings are familiar…images of winding mountain roads in the north of Israel, where I first heard their guitar strings. I sat in a passenger van at 25 with no obligation other than to discover who I was. That’s a lot for a song to offer, I know.
I know the metaphor of morning well. That promise of a new beginning, the feeling that anything is possible. I live a perpetual morning, the unidentifiable scent of steaming coffee wafting in from the kitchen. What will I discover in this day, this life, this metaphor reaching?