A fine smelling run through town
Yesterday, in a rare moment of physical exertion, I took a brisk walk from my house to the downtown square and back. All told, I walked over four miles and had a great time. Sure, I came back exhausted, but I was refreshed, renewed and de-stressed. And I learned something on my walk. I learned that there are interesting smells everywhere, if you’ll just get out of your fancy, air-conditioned car and hit the sidewalks.
The first smell that hit me was fresh pine bark. One of the neighbors was spreading bag after bag of bark, and the scent was amazing.
At my previous house, the builder had ground up a truckload of pine trees and left a pile of bark that would rival the mounds up in Etowah. I spent weekend after weekend with a wheelbarrow, moving the bark to other parts of the yard.
Once you haul a few tons of pine bark, you never forget the odor.
The next interesting smell was a mixture of gasoline, sweat and grass. You know that one. It’s the smell of lawnmowers and weed trimmers — a smell that reminded me of cutting the grass at my parent’s house. That’s a smelly chore I now leave to someone else, but the memory lingers in my mind and in the air. The next odor was odd. It was either an open sewer or someone’s dryer exhaust vent. I didn’t stop to figure that one out. Not every smell is worth investigating.
One smell that was definitely worth avoiding was the one in a small pile on the sidewalk. But, I was careful and watched where I stepped, so I didn’t have to smell that one all the way home.
My favorite scent was the freshly cut tree. We had a big storm in town, and it knocked over a massive pine that had to be cut into smaller pieces before it could be hauled off. When I walked by, I was hit with the incredibly sweet smell of pine tree sap.
I had a great adventure with all these smells, but on the last mile of the walk, all I could smell was me, a sweaty, stinky, middle-aged man who had just exercised and enjoyed it. That’s a surprising, new smell for me, one that I haven’t experienced in a very long time. I might just get used to it. If I’m lucky.
David McCoy is a Conyers resident. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.