When my daughter Evelyn was smaller, she would go to bed every night for months smelling like summer: like outdoors and sunshine, with a hint of dried peach juice.
She was only two, so it wasn’t weird if I buried my nose in her hair as she fell asleep. Also, bathing two-year-olds is overrated.
She smelled like wholesome afternoons. She smelled like activity and nature, of finding your place in the great wilds of creation.
She hadn’t really been anywhere outside our walled-in backyard, but let’s not dwell on technicalities.
I love hearing other people’s memories of their childhood summers, the ones that involve running around in a creek all day and catching fireflies in the dusk. Maybe a line of cousins would lean against the old porch and have the mud hosed off their feet before falling into bed at night.
I don’t have those stories myself, or a creek, or a porch, or fireflies, just a sort of quiet longing.