Monday, October 12, 2009


I need to remember to smell, because I live in a place with subtle changes of smell. In the Black Hills it is easy to look and point and see. I saw a deer out my window or past my car. There, there, a big horn sheep on the side of the road. Look! a bird whirling through the canyon. Ah…see the sun on the cliff face. It is great to see in the hills, but we sometimes forget to smell. Often we only smell in that transition between the car—with its air-conditioned, dried out smell, mixing with the scent of chemicals leeching from the seats and a pair of shoes left in the back seat—and the outdoors. And then it hits us—a deep breath—and then we go inside, to that other place of manufactured smell. But I need to stop and smell, because the smells change as the sun rises and the dew disappears. The smells move with the seasons, with new growth smelling quite different than a coming Fall day. The bottom of the canyon, with its deciduous trees smells warm and fresh when compared to the ponderosa pine trees clinging to a cliff face. And then that transition smell between the protective hills and the opening plains that changes with the shifts in the wind. Take a deep breath and smell that dried out grass or the cow a mile upwind. Smell the dirt. I have many senses. I need to make sure I use them.


  1. My family (husband and boys 15/17) will be traveling through Minnesota, the Dakotas, the Black Hills and other areas near you for the first time next June on vacation. I look forward to reading your commentary on the experiences you have in your new surroundings.

  2. go and smell bridal veil falls if you haven't already. for me, the smell is unforgettable. i'd love to grab coffee next time i'm in rapid if you're up for it; my partner's family is in whitewood.

    be well.