The Scent of summer is a two-part feature, and when I read the first part of this story on Alle’s Goodreads blog, I immediately thought -this is something I have to share with my readers. A few conversations later, Alle and I had given birth to Southern Sunday. If you are one of Alle’s Goodreads followers you may have already read this post, but trust me, it’s worthy of a reread. This week,  you can read (or reread) part one, but be sure to come back next Sunday for more of Alle’s wonderful Scents of Summer…read on and enjoy.


I love the smell of summer. Nothing compares to the sweet, clean freshness that fills the air after an afternoon thunderstorm. This week, we’ve been lucky enough to experience a detoxifying boomer every day. One evening, I stood in the backyard and let the fine showers drip from my hair, then down my face while I tended my herb garden. After a long, hot day, the sweet essence from that summer rain and the luscious scent of misted herbs felt better than a two hundred dollar afternoon at the spa.

There’s something about summer that makes me feel beautiful and ageless. Kicking off my shoes after work and vowing not to put them on again until it’s absolutely necessary brings back the long summer days of my childhood. Listening to the buzz of the darting hummingbirds until dark, watching the lightning bugs blink in the dark, and falling asleep on the screen porch are just a few of my favorite summer evening pleasures.

My mind drifted aimlessly today while I peeled a bushel of peaches. After a while, peeling peaches will do that to you, sending you into a lull as you lose count of them. I thought about what summer fruits and vegetables remind me of. Peaches will forever bring the lovely state of Georgia to mind. Watermelon reminds me of family reunions and church dinners down in Birmingham. I also think of freshly mown grass whenever I smell watermelon, or visa-versa. I don’t know why, they just smell the same to me. Green corn fields give off a special, sweet scent that reminds me of the farms where I played as a child. Bunches of Concord grapes hang from my neighbor’s arbor in various stages of green and make me feel at home.

For me, the absence of air-conditioning brings summer to life more than ever. All summer long, the Gardenia bush sends a sweet bouquet through my laundry room, filling it with freshness. My neighbors call to me as they walk by the open windows. The laughter of free schoolchildren at play drifts through the house. Finally, the night breeze sifts through the screen next to my bed and makes me feel more alive than ever. I feel the open windows opening my mind and setting me free to enjoy the scents of summer.

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One Comment on “THE SCENT OF SUMMER”

  1. Elle August 11, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    Alle, Bette is right: This is a beautiful column. Your mention of the fireflies and the gardenias remind me so much of North Carolina and make me miss it more than ever!

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