It's rainy and cold today and I can't tell if it feels like spring or autumn.
We had a couple sunny, warm days recently and I found myself with a slight sunburn on my right arm on Sunday evening. The next day was just as beautiful so I slathered myself in sunscreen before donning a tank top for a nice long run outside. I've written about this before, but the smell of sunscreen brings me back to a time before Minnesota where spring is always warm and sunny and it never snows in March or April or May.
I wrote this in 2012 when I lived in Charlottesville:
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.
And now, after the coldest winter and during the chilliest spring I've ever experienced, that sunscreen scent reminds me of Charlottesville, too, and the hard runs in the woods with my dear friend Shawna; the smell of dirt in the humid air and cold press coffee on ice. Virginia really knows how to do spring.
I don't know what smells will remind me of Minneapolis in the years to come. I'm sure they will drift by and surprise me one day when I least expect it.
This post is in response to the following prompt: "Write about a memory of sunscreen." (From Old Friend from Far Away, page 209.) You can visit this post for future prompts, but I'm taking a break from these for a few weeks (at least until after my wedding.)