When I was a youngster in Detroit, a “chore” I enjoyed doing was mowing the lawn. Nothing petrol/gas driven, just a simple hand mower that made a lovely twirling sound when pushed.
I could earn a quarter if I mowed the neighbour’s lawn, or a couple of dimes, at least. Pocket money, for sure, but more than the money, the best part about mowing was to both see the straight mown marks across the freshly cut lawn, and, to breath in the fragrance of this cut grass.
Whoever has mown lawns as a kid knows exactly what I’m talking about. Seeing the tire marks signified a job well done. And the smell — so uniquely suburban and innocent.
As an adult, the sweet nostalgia this smell can elicit when mowing one’s own heavily mortgaged house lawn, makes life seem to be a perpetually soft, easy going Sunday afternoon. Except now, the sweat accompanying this nostalgia is accompanied with a gin and tonic instead of lemonade.
In the below photo, my G&T “sit spot” is at the far end of the curving retainer wall.
But back up a bit, dear reader, and place yourself just behind the flowering red kangaroo paws and take in all that the photo shows. Looks rather picturesque, yes? Nicely mown lawn, blue sky, balanced composition; tranquility.
Step closer and gaze down at the white flowering prostrate kunzia bush in front of the massive stone guardians at the entrance to the house.
Rather tame looking, isn’t it.
And this is my point. No smart phone or iPad or blog photo can deliver the smells associated with being outdoors. In the case of the kunzia flowers, their fragrance has to be the most sensual of all flowering plants: a deeply delicious buttery coconut.
Stick your nose into these flowers and one cannot help but be transported to an adolescent summer’s day where one’s fingers are tentatively rubbing sun tan oil onto the skin of the first person you’ve kissed.