A perfumed carpet drifts along in the air tonight, following unseen eddies of light in motion, wafting to my doorway, to me and to the beyond.
One quality inherent in the month of July, is one of scent. In July, I pause often to smell the air, sense the aromas that surround me. The presence of scent has become a traveling companion joining me on wandering paths this July. Pausing to smell, leads me to pausing to feel the air, and sense presence in a given moment, to see the way the light plays, and to hear what the wind tunes.
This companion could be the scent of many different things: the smell of night and her noises, the fields, the roads, forest and sky. The scent of cooking and outdoor grilling, of picnics and sugar and animals. Of wet dogs up close, smelling my face, while I pray that their clever quick tongues stop short of exploring the curiosity before them, 'oh, please, only a little quick flick,' they seem to beg telepathically ~ oh so tempting to an olfactory-centered being ~ like the quick flick of the tongue from the snake in my garden, attempting to better estimate, examine and understand the surroundings. These efforts to smell deeper afford all of us the chance to be just a little closer to the mysteries we crave, to inhale the inexplicable that has captured our attention, to revel in the sense of something larger than we can grasp, this mystery that scent has somehow hinted at, and air has encapsulated in holographic integrity.
The perfumed wind arrives as an invitation to feel and take notice of this magic present in her hands, this pause, invites breathing in deeply, and sensing the wonder in the gift that has arrived, and noticing what wraps around us.
Dogs and snakes probably understand better than we humans do, this wonder: The mystery of the "Adoration of Scent." Or the adoration of the 'Sainted Scent.' They may better revel in how smells and taste revolve around each other endlessly, and balance each other to perfection. They appear to find many opportunities to relish in this ambrosia of scent, not wanting to ever pass it by or lose the chance to experience this... this... this inexhaustible mystery.
More scents that make me stop in my track and drink deeply include the smell of rose petals landing on whipped cream, the scent of field flowers rising in the heat of the sun, the smell of water greeting me on the path to the river, the perfume of hay-scented fern inviting me to venture farther to the top of the sunlit hill, the ripening of colorful juicy fruit, the petrichor lingering in the afternoon, after a thunderstorm has brought in coolness.
All these experiences of the inexplicable come with July.
Tonight, as the crescent moon sinks low into the west, a little after sunset, the intoxicating rich scent of the recently opened milkweed flowers rises into the night air, drifts toward me on a palpable carpet, arriving at the doorway of my senses, then drifts up and over me, like a large and exotic bird on a voyage to distant lands. This perfume takes me tonight in the carpet of her hands; she invites me to these lands, invites me to experience these new magical vistas. She leads me to a land of ancient beings where perfume can and does transform one into a different density of light, sound, and time. Where the power of scent alone allows the divine to sneak in, capture our attention and make room for laughter, breath and love.
All this, all this mysterious and unfathomable arrives in the night air.
How can something so strong and sweet live so far in the north? How can the air feel so dense with scent that I imagine, I could reach out a hand to stroke it? I pause to lift my face in an attempt to fathom the depths of this moment. I drink it in. As I do, I hear the night sounds that also carry easily on this warm night air. The sound of conversations between close trees, exchanges that maybe would be private by the light of day, sound more audible at night. The tete-a-tete's carry tonight in the wind's arms, as though I hear the leaning over of balcony railings, the sharing of the news of the day. There is companionable comfort in these sounds as one story leads to another, and laughter in one quarter stirs teetering appreciation elsewhere in the forest night. This is the gentle music of the forest community on a July evening.
Woven in an around this music, lingers the intoxicating perfume of milkweed. Its presence surrounding us, opening channels to the deeper waters, connecting me to you, me to all space and place. This breathing carpet of scent brings me where we are always connected, and always engaged in a divine conversation. I land here tonight with you.