I HAD a share of sweeping our backyard from dust and dry leaves. As a young girl, I would often delay doing that chore because it was too tiring: ah, my usual alibi! That was school break. Summer vacation.
During that time, my father was still around. He would give me orders about cleaning our small backyard and which spot I should work on. We had an ample space for a few set of flowering plants and one fruit-bearing tree. Summertime filled the ground with lots of dry leaves. I didn’t think much about it nor find out why. The only thing that mattered to me then was to gather everything near the tree and finish the chore.
One time, I decided to see what my father would do next. He nudged me to move backwards as he prepared to crumple pages of old newspapers with a box of matches on hand. He lit a piece of paper and carefully put it underneath the pile of leaves. As soon as the fire spread, he slowly patted it with a wooden stick until a ribbon of smoke appeared.
For me, the scent was somewhat sweet. I was not sure if it had something to do with the kind of leaves. Although it was smoke, it was distinctly fresh. I did not mind having it linger on my hair and clothes, that to my mother’s disapproval.
It was the scent of my summer for a few years. Even if we no longer do that now for safety and environmental reasons, the scent is still vivid as if I can see and taste it.
(Featured image taken from pexels.com)