Breathe Deep

The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. ~Wendell Berry~

This time of year, spring in Wisconsin, the smell of mud and dirt begin to permeate the senses.  We see the dark combination of minerals and decaying organic matter poking through the melting snow, finally freed from months under a blanket of frozen white. The scent of freedom arises!

Dirt is one of my favorite olfactory odors, for it’s the smell of spring, of awakening, and of new birth. It’s the aroma of first bicycle rides, maiden motorcycle rides, and children playing outside without mittens. To smell dirt is to long for spring plantings and a walk among budding trees and greening grass.

Close your eyes and breathe in through the nose.

Breathe deep.

What does dirt smell like to you?

Does it smell like coffee grounds?

A square of bitter dark chocolate?

Like an overused, damp dishcloth?


Margaret speaks the truth.

Whatever dirt smells like to you in spring, THAT is the scent which envelopes the soles of your shoes and the bottom of your too-long jeans. It rises, like steam, to wrap itself around you in earthiness.

And the faint odor of earthworms after a soft rain.

Have you ever wanted to roll around in the dirt?

Like a dog or cat or newborn piglet?

Create a dirt angel or a cloud of dirt dust?

Margaret would be proud, you know. She would say you smell nice, like a new day, the waft of spring 12 days early.

The poetry of the earth is never dead. ~John Keats~

Alas, dirt is alive.

And smelly.

It restores and resurrects.

Close your eyes and breathe through the nose.

Breathe deep.

Blogging the Senses: This post is part of the inaugural Discover challenge. If you would like to join in or read posts from a myriad of talented writers, click HERE.

20 responses to Breathe Deep

  1. Dan Antion says:

    Our dog has taken to laying in my wife’s garden. So, the smell of dirt arrives, attached to the belly of an Irish Setter.

  2. joannesisco says:

    No, I’ve never wanted to roll around in dirt. Quite frankly, I’m not all that fond of it.

    …. but I do agree there is something about the smell of earth in the spring. It’s pungent and raw and absolutely glorious!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I can’t say I’ve ever rolled around in the dirt myself…as an adult. But there could be a first time given the right circumstances. Like after too much wine 😉

      • joannesisco says:

        I did go for a mud wrap once at a spa – you know, curiosity and all that. While I felt like a million dollars afterwards, the process wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. Ewww.

      • bikerchick57 says:

        I would rather be wrapped in a million dollars and feel like mud. Or get a massage. No thanks to the mud wrap.

  3. This is so beautifully said. I love the first smell of dirt in the early spring. For me it is what a promise must smell like. Full of possibilities.

  4. I never thought about the smells that come with Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Sounds pretty good actually.

    It rained today. It hasn’t rained for a while. That’s the smell I like – long-awaited rain after a long, dry summer.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      LONG summer? Never mind the rain, I want to know how you manage LONG summers. Ours seems to go by so quickly…

      • Mother Nature seems to have decided to put off autumn and add some extra hot summer. For some reason she really likes Tuesdays for 40+C days.

      • bikerchick57 says:

        Well, please send the long summer here. It doesn’t have to be hot, just long. We are overdue 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.