November 5, 2009

Sunshine and Wind...

Have you ever noticed that sunshine and wind have a distinct scent? My mother would hug me after I had been playing outside, and she would say to me, mmmmmm, you smell like sunshine. In my younger years, I couldn’t understand how sunshine had a “scent”. It was too far away to smell. As I aged, I became aware of this scent when my mom would hang our laundry outside on the clothesline to dry. Bringing it inside and folding it was a chore I had from a young age, and the lovely smell of “outside” was firmly in place as I was folding it. Perhaps exactly at that time… the folding period… I wasn’t quite aware of the scent, but a day or two later when putting on a clean, dried-outside shirt, or changing the sheets on my bed to sunshine-and-wind-dried bedding, boy-oh-boy was it pervasive! I have often said I want a clothesline in my back yard, but they just don’t seem very popular in my too-many-houses-too-close neighborhood.

Now that I’m a “grown-up”, I’m a work-a-hafta. Not quite a work-aholic… but I do have two-plus jobs in my life, and they are all necessary.  I have a husband, kids and zoo, to boot. It is an average day for me to leave my house at 7:30am and not get home until after 8pm, 10pm or sometimes midnight. Suffice it to say that going from one job to another, sitting in front of a computer at home doing freelance stuff, I don’t get outside much. And my days tend to run into each other without much remarkable happening.

Recently a person I've been seeing regarding my health informed me that I MUST get at least 10 minutes of sunshine a day. Let me just note that I’m a very fair-skinned, blonde-ish haired person. Sun and I don’t mix. But this person assured me that I would not burn to a crisp in 10 minutes a day. So… today, I took a “fresh air” break and lounged upon my car outside in the sunshine.

It was crisp outside. Bright sunshine. Wisps of clouds in a robin’s-egg blue sky. Brisk wind blowing about. Too bright to keep my eyes open (remember, I’m a sunshine light-weight). Facing the sun, I closed my eyes and forced myself to take in deep breaths of fresh air; something else that I am sorely lacking.

I listened. I could hear the tree across the parking lot… the dried leaves still on its branches rattling away in the wind. A single leaf behind me caught up by the wind skittered across the asphalt under my car. I hear other leaves scraping across the pavement.

Opening my eyes and squinting, I see what seems to be a race between two leaves… one bitty leaf from very far away suddenly picked up by the wind, flying across the lot and catching up to a larger leaf which seemed to not allow the wind to push it fast anymore. The little leaf chased the bigger, overtook it and skittered off across the lawn yonder. The bigger leaf – and I imagined it was very tired – was stuck by the step up onto the sidewalk.

I picked it up; the poor, dried up thing. I placed it on the sidewalk so the wind could push it away again. (It was a happy leaf as it skritched across the sidewalk to the lawn.) I felt the wind pushing at me, chilling my skin. I could nearly taste the chilled sweetness of the fall air.

It wasn’t until I returned inside though, back to my desk and computer, that I smelled that wonderful scent. I wasn’t outside anymore; where was it coming from? I raised my arm up, pressed my nose against my skin and inhaled. The fresh air and sunshine smell?

It was on me.


  1. You're right, you're absolutely right! There is a different smile. I really enjoyed reading your post today.

  2. Beautifully written and very descriptive made me dance with the leaves but brought a lump to my throat as well. Thanks you so much for sharing this.

  3. FANTASTIC!!!!! Gorgeous imagry and I SO KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT! I love the race between two leaves - could so picture what you were seeing and hearing and smelling.

  4. Kai,
    You are an absolutely beautiful writer! I'm so glad I found your blog through the comment you left on mine (and Shimelle's class). I can feel myself stretched out on a car in the sunshine.
    Thanks for your awesome post!

  5. loved reading your post! you're a very good story teller... I felt like I was right there beside you! TFS!

  6. Extremely well written commentary. I could just imagine the warmth of the sun combined with the chill of the autumn air across my skin. Like you, I'm a fair-skinned blonde and tend to avoid the outdoors. Your ten-minute-a-day sunshine prescription sounds wonderful!


I love hearing what you have to say. Thank you for sharing yourself with me!


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