What’s that smell?

August 5, 2020

        An acrid odor grabs my attention. Something’s burning. The toast. Oh darn, I forgot to check the setting..

          As I scrape the charred bits off my breakfast I realize I’m more relieved than irritated. My nose still works … which has become the “canary in the coal mine” test to assure us we haven’t caught Covid-19.
          I treasure my sense of smell. Imagine missing the sweet scent of chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven. Or a just-snipped rose from the garden. What would summer be without that unmistakable aroma of newly mowed lawn? And who can resist the salty sweet allure of kettle corn at the farmer’s market?
         Life and good health are precious; we cling to every moment. The sights, the sounds, the smells. Covid-19 has taught us to appreciate so much we once took for granted. Freedom to assemble, to shop and sing. The chance to see a play or a baseball game.
         But most of all Covid has made me notice the smells. Even offensive odors like the boxwood hedge that always smells like cat urine to me or that whiff of gas that alerts me I have bumped the knob on the stove and the burner is not lit. Just today I went to the store to purchase some parsley for a recipe. I grabbed cilantro by mistake but the smell made me realize my error.
          So here’s to all the smells of summer, good and bad. May our noses keep on working!