There is a small dirt and gravel road just parallel to my complex that I like to walk. In the summer time, just before the sun dips down for its rest, I walk. It’s my favorite time of the day. Ancient Celts called it the gloaming: The perfect time where it’s not too hot but you can still feel the warmth of the summer rays. I can hear families barbecuing and children’s laughter. That is when all is right with the world.I walk this road and close my eyes and I travel in time to the memories of my youth.
A youth spent in the country where swimming in creeks, running barefoot in the grass, catching frogs and finding the occasional snake (and screaming for my mother) are what I think of as happiness. We had a dirt and gravel road that ran between my family’s lots. I would walk this road, with my eyes glued down, watching my feet, picking up the most colorful and shiniest of rocks. Clay, obsidian, slate and at special times I would find quartz. I didn’t know their names then, but I collected them as I strolled on, placing the most precious ones in my pocket to be placed later in a shoe box I had back at camp. As I walked I felt the dirt kick at my heels and I could smell some of the last remnants of a thunder shower from an hour or so ago. The sun beat down on my face, and sweat poured down in my eyes. I’d wipe it away with my dusty hand and walk until I was weighed down from all the treasure I found. Head on back to camp.
I take myself back to my present, and I open my eyes. I can see that old road of my memory and smell the air of my childhood. The smell of dirt and ozone mixed with salt and roses. That’s the smell I remember and that’s what is my content.