Saturday, September 19, 2009


As I wander the same trail through the same neighborhoods on my daily walks, I find myself less attuned to the mundane path I travel and more aware of the sounds of nature, the scents of the outdoors and the neighbors who painted their garage doors that hideous shade of green this summer.

Last evening, the scents are what captured my attention. I always manage to pick up something wonderful along the way: sweet batter coating onion rings in the fryer at Sonic, fresh laundry being tumbled in a dryer, honeysuckle and magnolia blossoms, newly mowed grass. Yesterday, the smells tricking into my nostrils told me a story.

About a block into my walk, I detected a charcoal grill that had been lit not too very long before my arrival. The oily odor of lighter fluid was gone and only the cooking smell of graying briquettes was wafting through the air. I imagined boneless, skinless chicken breasts or strip steaks, maybe hamburger patties eager to be rested on the grilling rack. Judging solely by the intensity of the bouquet, their time was near. There is nothing quite like food cooked outdoors even if the grill marks include incredible amounts of carcinogens according to experts who will someday change their minds and sing the praises of outdoor cooking as they have with so many other good for you, bad for you, good for you food and drink we consume. For me, I’ll take my chances to get a tasty, smoky cut of grilled meat onto my plate and into my diet.

I no sooner saw myself sitting at the dinner table cutting into a nice, tender and toxic steak than another smoky aroma swayed my attention. It was the musty, crisp perfume of leaves burning and I soon saw a smoldering fire and someone using a rake to tend a small pile of foliage that had already given up the ghost this season. I enjoy the scent of spent leaves burning and it immediately reminds me of cold walks in the woods in icy weather when the friendly smoke from a hickory fire beckons the weary traveler home. Alas, the change in seasons lets me wax poetic.

And that is the story the smells of the night brought me on my walk evening last. The change of seasons is upon us once more. Like floral spring to humid summer, musty fall to icy winter and finally back to earthy spring, each change has its own unique blend of aromas and each harkens the next step in a circular path. In fact, each season has its own smell, its own exclusive signature. But as one season gives way to the next, a sensual treat awaits that both hails the coming and mourns the passing.


I started this blog as an avenue of expression, to talk about whatever I wanted and to continue practicing my writing skills. What I ended up doing was only posting when I felt I had something poignant to say. But then, following that logic, I haven't had anything important to say since July 2nd.

Truth is, I have found other venues in which to write:, Twitter, Facebook and a few paid writing gigs I recently picked up. But writing is what I do, it's what I love and it is my true passion. So today, I give my self permission to write on my blog a few times each week even if I have nothing all that big to discuss. I'll put together the occasional essay but I give myself the freedom to write simply for the sake of writing. I may try out a poem or post a descriptive paragraph and maybe a limerick or even a haiku if I decide to try one. Maybe I'll just say what I've been up to or speak about what might be on my mind.

It's a new direction for Amblin. Actually, it's the original direction rediscovered.