I was at my sister’s this weekend. She lives across from the water. We’ve had such a run of incredible sunny beach days, I just assumed Sunday would be one as well, but when I woke up, it was cloudy, not to mention sweatshirt-with-your-hood-up chilly. But the minute I took Riley for a walk, it happened–something even better than going to the beach.
I smelled the past.
I used to go to the Cape every summer for a month with my mom and usually I had a friend come to, and usually all sorts of people visited us. My dad’s anxiety was too overwhelming for him to come, as he thought his store would be broken into and our house would be pillaged (yes, PILLAGED). Uh huh, that was vintage my dad. Anyway, it was the best part of my year, because my dad wasn’t there, and there would be no yelling, or crazy, and my mom would let me try all the unhealthy foods my dad would never let into the house, like Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco treat, and Hamburger Helper, which my best friend’s mom made routinely.
Anyway, on rainy days, which I blamed my mother for, like she wasn’t just my mother, but Mother Nature herself, there was a very particular smell to the air. A very specific smell that was salt, mixed with rain, and calm, and wind, and puffy clouds, and freedom, and books, and shopping, and my mom.
And yesterday, I smelled that bit of the past in the air when I walked my dog. A trillion images of those summers, that lasted forever and sustained me through the rest of the year. The summers that had been. They were just in the air for the taking. And I grabbed them with every inhale.
And God, they made me happy.