The Scents of Central Oregon Summer

Summertime has come around again and the air is rich with the scents of sage, juniper, sand and lava rocks. I say it again, as it bears repeating, the scent of Central Oregon in the summer is pure bliss. It stops me in my tracks just to inhale long and deep and proclaim “Thank You, Thank You…Thank YOU! It is unlike anything I have ever smelt as the juniper sap runs sweet and pitchy in the heat of the long hot days. At my home this scent mixes with the flowerings of my yard adding the perfume of lilies, honeysuckle, roses, lavender and jasmine.

Summer here is a boon season. The winters in the High Desert are long, cold and gray. The sky, landscape and terrain become monochromatic shades within shades. The scents of winter are sharp upon the senses with smells of wood smoke and cold temperatures. When spring awakens and summer blooms life moves in a swirling kaleidoscope of colors, activities and gatherings invoking all the senses to merge with the abundance of the season. In the towns, the mountains, lakes, rivers, neighborhoods, parks we play filling ourselves up to the brim with sunshine and the overflowing abundance of summer, to be stored as essential nutrients through the winter sustaining us until the crocus emerge from the cold ground with the promise of the return of the season.

I delight in the summer months with its juicy fruits, leisurely bike rides, garden o’ plenty, warm nights and its invitation to come and play. Leave the wash, the vacuuming and the worries of the day, papers upon the desk and bosses voice on the answering machine. Pick it up another day. I have flowers to pick before I head to the concert in the park, sipping limeade as dusk softly descends revealing the sparkling starlight in the midnight blue sky of a summer night.

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