My journey as a long distance runner who started the sport later in life.
I’ve been running again since I wrote about my observations on smell while running outdoors in the evening. Recently, my nose was full-on assaulted by the smell of dead animal for a large portion of a run on the Rotary Greenway Trail (image, left). As I ran faster to try and escape the stench, mouth breathing all the way, I mused that this particular aroma would have made for a much different story. Recently mowed verges along the trail made me suspicious that they might have accidentally mowed a groundhog or two.
I ascended into a newer suburban neighborhood of large detached houses, but younger trees and more stuff; an RV here, an ATV trailer there, and many more cars. As I passed a large pickup truck another scent smacked me in the face: hairspray. Its thick sweet scent took me back to my middle school days, living in my own suburban neighbourhood. As I wasn’t allowed to have or wear hairspray back then, it conjured images of the “cool girls,” the ones who came of age early and who openly mocked the rest of us for not doing the same. I glanced around for some mean girls, but thankfully the coast was clear.
It has been hot and dry in Ontario, and I’ve read that most parts of Canada are in water deficit mode, having received much less than the average rainfall. I returned to a section of the Rotary Greenway Trail that is completely surrounded with the scorched earth of such a summer; brown grass punctuated only by bird’s-foot trefoil (image, left). This scent, the scent of dried grass, conjured memories of droughty summers past and spending time at my Grandparents’ house. It is reassuring that such worrisome smells can conjure such fond memories.