Growing with Wild Abandon

Every season has unique aromas. If they were bottled and brought to someone far away and if this person closed her eyes, uncorked the bottle, and took a deep breath, she would be instantly transported to a specific moment or place in that season. Of course, today, here, it is fall and the air carries the distinct perfume of dry leaves, perhaps some woodsmoke, and the clear smell of the cold that is slowly taking over this part of the world. There are other smells, too. Inside: freshly baked bread, apples simmering into sauce, maybe the steamy scent of a cup of tea. Outside: nature is shutting down and dying back for the year and the smell of drying and decaying mixes with everything else to create the unique scent of autumn.

Along with all the freezing, pulling up, and ending comes the abundance of ripe fruit when natures grabs at a last chance at life for a while. Acorns litter the ground, seeds floating on downy parachutes fly by on the wind. I have been catching signs of this abundant life all over. Riding my bike the other night, the air was flooded with the rich sweet smell of apples rotting and leaving their seeds back in the earth.
I’ve noticed fruit trees nearly every where I go. I tasted a grape with its thick skin and pungent flavor, but I haven’t picked anything else. Instead I’ve been observing what the plants provide. If someone planted them purposefully, most are no longer being tended but they flourish and grow with their wild abandon in this mostly urban area.
Untrellised, not pruned, they reach for the sky while their fruit falls to the ground with a thud or a splat, becoming part of the earth or maybe just landing on the sidewalk. Their gentle decay draws bees, maybe some other small creatures, and the deep, sweet aroma becomes part of the air of autumn.