The Fifth Season

One of the things I love most about summer is going for a walk in the early hours of the morning as the sun is coming up.

The air is crisp, but not cold. The sky is gorgeous; unique shades of gray, orange, purple, yellow – the color of sunrise. My mind is clear, not yet cluttered by any worries, anxieties, or to-do lists.

But the smells.. the smells are my favorite.

I do the same route every day – through the same neighborhoods, passed the same houses, looking at the same beautiful landscape and flowers that remind me what a brilliant Creator we have. I know this route well, so I can anticipate what smell goes with what house as I pass by.

I walk by one house and I smell wintergreen. Suddenly I’m 9 years old, sitting at my Gigi’s kitchen table on this beautiful sunny morning. I’m sipping coffee (I have her to thank for my love for coffee) out of my favorite of all the coffee mugs in her cupboard. It’s the blue one with balloons that reads “Happy Birthday” in multi-colored font. I’m not sure why that one was always my favorite; probably because my favorite color is blue. She always used french vanilla creamer, so I did too. We are reading the paper together (for me, this means looking at the weather, the movie section, and the two or three words I am able to fill in the cross word before giving up).

I walk by another house and I smell beautiful roses. Just like that, I’m 17 again and it’s my junior year of high school. I walk passed the entry way, where the front door is wide open because my mama opened it when she got home from the gym. Summer mornings were beautifully still and perfect in our neighborhood. This was the year I began getting up 30 minutes earlier than usual so we could drink coffee and catch up before we each started our day, since we didn’t get a chance to do that the night before because dance ran long. To this day, we still text, talk on the phone, or FaceTime almost every single morning at this time.

I walk by another house and somehow, at 6:30am, I smell banana-flavored shaved ice. {I realize this one is probably way off and that what I’m probably smelling is banana bread, or something more appropriate for this time of day.} But nonetheless, my nose has convinced me that I’m 4 years old. My dad and I are getting back to our little house on Calder Court after going out for shaved ice. His was yellow; he got banana. Mine was blue; I got bubble-gum mixed with cotton candy. I remember this time specifically because I dropped mine, so he gave me his. This was something we did often in the summertime.

I know when fall rolls around, I’ll be drooling and babbling about all the beauty I see and love in that season, too. I’ll be realistic and not get caught up in the moment – fall and winter are hands down my favorite seasons.

But there’s something about summer mornings. It’s almost as if they have their very own fifth season.

In my world, they do.

 

 

Alex Hanson

Wife to Nate, mommy to Lucy.

 

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