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Letter to the Editor

June 02, 2009

The smell of spring



To the editor:

As I settle into the rhythm of my daily jog around the prison's track in the early morning, I, like most every man and woman, take delight in my imagination. The hopes for obtaining some respite from the bone-chilling touch of Old Man Winter are achieved through "mental vision quests." And, like many, I long for the tranquility of spring and summer.

For me, spring becomes a representation of a solitary happiness. Thankfully, it is my olfactory senses that signal my brain that spring, at least by my reckoning, really is here.

Rounding the track's first curve, I fancy myself passing by the first of the surrounding farms with their gentle, sloping hills. Then it hits me - the smell. That tangy, yet not unsavory aromatic perfume the farmers use to enrich their furrowed fields smacks me in the nose.

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I deeply inhale and imagine the taste of this bouquet. Momentarily I dance across a meadow of delightful memories. My sister's three-cent mud pies - thick, crunchy and yucky - solve the mystery for me.

The more I breathe in, the stinging aroma of another vision greets me, and this time I halt my motion. I sit upon the cold ground in an easy yoga pose and enjoy. For I envision the unseen farmers' tilled earth bringing forth an abundance of grubs, worms and snails. Nature's cornucopia will entice the sparrows, robins and the few blue jays that endured the winter along with the rest of us to feast.

When this occurs, I know without a doubt these birds will soon build their nests for the arrival of their offspring. Of course, nesting birds sing of spring. And spring's arrival, at least for me, is heralded by the pungent scent of a farmer's manure.

Larry Bratt
Roxbury Correctional Institution

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