Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ah, I love the smell of pavement in the morning...

Wet rain-soaked flagstones give off a particular scent. They glisten and reflect in their tiny grooves and crevices; sparkling up the sidewalk and cement that serves to frame their edges.

Something about the smell of wet rock, earth and trees is extremely attractive. Not, as it were, in the same way that chocolate chip cookies spreading thickly as they bake in the oven would, but in an open, extending universal way.

Cookies smell good in a close, bringing home, wrap you up way. Wet stone smells good in an expansive, free and let you out way.

The same way that the ocean calls to my senses, and the grass on the planes, and the balsam of the woods, and the dust of the horses.

This morning I went for my walk about 6:45 AM. There was an opalescent light glancing off the buildings trees and pavement. Something pearly and glowing - as a backdrop on a large main-stage would be if it were set for sunrise.

Everything outside had that wet smell to it that I love so much.

I remember that early mornings in Oklahoma were always Dad mornings.

No one else would be awake, (save the cats) but Dad would already be in the kitchen as I padded downstairs in my bare feet and pajamas. He'd step into the dining room and open the glass door to the back porch, his body warm as I approached, his blue robe framed in the first light of morning, a hot cup of English breakfast tea in his hand, his hair mussed from sleep.

Then, he'd turn to me and smile, while the first, fresh morning breeze blew through the trees and into the doorway where we were standing. With a wink, we'd close the back door and holding hands walk to the front, out onto the porch, our feet slapping silently on the cool flagstones. We'd pass the swing and head out along the front yard walkway, down the rough textured driveway to get the paper; waiting for us in it's plastic bag-- always with beads of water glinting like little glass jewels on the outside.

He'd chuckle and shake off the water and we'd walk in, usually with our yellow tabby female, K.C. winding between his legs.

I loved to smell the newspaper; the fresh ink was comforting and inspiring, same as the smell in books, or freshly sharpened pencils, with their gray, slippery, smudgy smell of lead.

The train went by on my walk this morning. I went a different route than I normally do; just because I felt like heading clockwise instead of counter clockwise around the block.

I walked into the coral gold backlit morning and just as I was getting to one of my favorite streets; the kind with sweet old houses, lampposts and big trees.  I happened to pause because the train was growing louder and louder on it's approach; booming in the whispery breeze of morning, competing with the birds and insects to announce it's awakening.

I reached the west side of the park, which has the tracks as a border on it's east side, just in time to hold my breath as the rumbling beneath my feet reached a climax.

The train burst through the atmosphere; lights flooding like circular fires behind glass as it came barreling through, it's hot whistle hollering loud and heavy, screaming the morning to any who could hear.

My Mimi used to live about a quarter mile from the train tracks... or if not that close or far, near enough.

I remember feeling the vibration as it went by; comforting, not far away, but not next to us either.

I love trains.

I would much rather travel by train than by plane. I also love boats. These older methods of travel have a romanticism about them; as though something exciting or magical could happen. Though I DO absolutely adore  the moment on a plane, when everything is quiet but the hum of the engines as you part the clouds and emerge from the misty gray-blue in to a world of clouds and sunlight covering everything. It's like flying through the sky of a painting.

This morning I walked home, with the train hurtling through, with the smell of sparkling wet pavement in my nostrils, with my Dad in my head.

I remembered what it was like to smell the pavement being 7 years old, followed by a ginger cat and swinging a heavy wet newspaper and I remarked upon how much I love mornings.

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