The smell of nature

There is something very evocative about this time of year when autumn is deep with falling leaves and skeins of geese draw great Vees across the greying skies. It is a time of reflection and peace, with cool air and the beginning of these deep orange dawns that bring so much to the land.

First there is the dense darkness, so deep that it could be possible to slice it into chunks and hold it in your hands. Then comes that band of silver, the weather-gleam that lights the eastern horizon and gradually, inexorably expands to highlight the stark trees on the ridges. You watch, unable to tear your eyes away from the wondrous beauty of the morning as the colours change: amber-orange deepening to red in the centre and lightening to faint shades of pink as the sun struggles through the inevitable clouds.

The trees are highlighted, slowly, stark branches groping skyward like skeletal fingers grasping for the Love of God. There are birds, bright sounds piping in ones and twos as they wake in their eternal search for food.

The day begins; the wind sweeps in from the west, damply cold, friendly as it sweeps clean the remaining leaves from branches tired of holding their summer weight. More clouds, pregnant with rain, slither across a ragged sky, unleash their burden on damp ground, refreshing the soil, swelling the burns, the streams, the rivers so they gush across the country, brown with soil, interesting with nature’s debris, roaring around rocks, chortling over inclines, lapping at still-verdant banks.

The human world awakes with the probing searchlight beams of car lights on narrow roads, the pin-bright squares of cottage windows in the distance, the murmur of a passing voice.

Over and above all is the scent of damp earth. Autumn is that smell. It is always there supporting all else. We are unaware of it; we accept it; we live in it. Nature in its best sense; life.

We go to work. Nature continues. When all work is done and we are gone nothing will have changed; we will be forgotten but the wind will still drag the clouds across a grey sky, the trees will still shed their cover, the grass will still whisper its secrets to ears that are too busy to listen.

Stop a second and take the time to smell and touch and see and hear. Experience the reality beyond technological chatter: let Peace enter your soul.

About malcolmarchibald

Happily married for 34 years to Cathy, I have three grown children and live in the depths of Moray in northern Scotland. I was educated in Edinburgh and Dundee and work as a lecturer in Inverness, while writing historical books, both fiction and fact.
This entry was posted in autumn, dawn, geese, life, nature, scents and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The smell of nature

  1. penpoon says:

    Style is combination of William Wordsworth and P.B Shelly….. congratulations

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