Driving west with the sun at my back, and at this hour of the morning, the sun dazzles the conifer tree branches in front of me, setting them glowing vivid green. It looks as if the photosynthesis taking place in each long needle glows through like fire from an ember. Flowers caught in this radiant wave of light beams have thier colors saturated and intensified. Drivers coming the opposite direction are also dazzled, many with hands up shielding their eyes from the sun's direct blast, which has erased most of the details and navigational landmarks in their path.
But pulling back for a moment: when I first back out of the garage and rolled back the canvas roof of the car the cabin instantly fills with the cloyingly sweet scent of the lilies in our front yard. I can't say I'm a fan; after a few minutes in the presence of a lily I just want to get away from their too-intense sweetness.
Some mornings are memorable for the sounds I hear on my short commute, mostly birds. This morning was memorable for the scents.
A couple of blocks into my commute and the unmistakable, tangy, earthy smell of freshly spread peat thankfully overpowers any lingering lily. I slip in behind an older truck and spent the next mile or so soaked in exhaust from an engine running rich and cigaret smoke wafting back into his slipstream.
At the next four-way stop he turns right so I go straight forward (my route affords many different side street paths to the same overall direction). I have only gone a short distance when the smell of cooking floats past. It smells like a hearty fried breakfast hanging heavy in the air, though for all I know it may just be the left-over smell of a dinner cooked on an outdoor grill.
I pull onto the campus and take the service road past the golf course, athletic field, and greenhouses on my way to North Campus. The smell of recently cut fairway grass mingles with the cherry tones of the deodorant cakes in the portable toilet there along that edge of the golf course.
Early morning sharpens scents just like it concentrates quiet, scents which quickly fade as the day warms up.
Don't want to be on no rooftop
Frying in the afternoon sun
Don't want to sit by no fountain
Listening to the man-made stream run
Just want to stand where the sea-spray
Gleams like fire with you
And I don't have to tell you why
- Don't Have To Tell You Why, Bruce Cockburn
Today's full playlist:
- Charlie Hunter Quintet: Whoop-Ass
- The Kyle Asche Organ Trio: For Mike
- Bruce Cockburn: Don't Have To Tell You Why
- Fionn Regan: Noah (Ghost in a Sheet)
- Rocco DeLuca & The Burden: Junky Valentine