The weather in Charlottesville has been warm and absolutely beautiful for the past few days, so when I woke up this morning, I donned 2012's first shorts and hastily smoothed on some lotion with sunscreen in it. Then I went to work.
It wasn't until several hours later that I realized how much I smelled like summer.
Sure, different smells can arouse all sorts of memories. And sure, sunscreen smells like summer. But I was startled by how very specific my thoughts and memories were.
I thought of grad school--those six weeks starting in July, and Men, Women, and Dragons: Gender and Identity in Fantasy for Children, which was from 9AM-12PM every Monday and Wednesday in that freezing room in the art building. I thought about quick Starbucks runs for dirty iced chais by myself on those same days before my History & Criticism class. I thought of that apartment with the brick walls and the cold shiny floors. I thought about Roanoke, last summer. All this, because of some sunscreen.
It's the way that filling my car with gasoline doesn't do anything to me, but the way the smell of gasoline from someone else's car when I'm sitting in traffic on a hot day reminds me of summer afternoons spent in the sun, in a boat, on the lake.
It makes me wonder what smells will hit me in the years to come, reminding me of this current season of life.
I know that it's a little early to be fantasizing about summer. But spring has definitely sprung, and that's something.
Which scents take you back?