I reek of campfire. In line for a Diet Coke, I'm sure the people behind me crinkled their noses at the smell. But I didn't care because I smell just exactly like summer should.
For me, nothing encompasses who I am as a person or what is important to me, like the smell of a campfire.
It brings me to my knees and steals my breath away.
The smell of campfire smoke, woodsy and primitive, stirs a longing in me. For a simpler time and an easier pace. It lives at the cellular level, in a place that only God knows. It is imprinted upon my DNA, signifying my belonging, carving out my place in this world. It is my truest essence. It transports me to another place.
Tonight, it is in my clothes, in my hair, and, as always, deep within my soul. And with it, there is you, dear friends. I got into the car, and it completely overwhelmed me. But instead of rolling down the window, I took a deep breath and resisted the urge to call you up just to hear your voices.
Campfires mean summertime.
They mean camp.
They mean friendships, old and new, strong as well as unsteady, lost but not forgotten.
That smell holds, in its wispy fingers, all the joy, excitement, heartache, and hope a summer can be.
That smoky, rich aroma reminds me of Wednesday night cook-outs, soft songs on the night breeze, and the feel of your hand in mine.
It reminds me that there is still goodness and magic left in this world.
It is the smell of shared laughter, shared tears, and a thousand shared memories.
It is innocent, honest, and true.
It is the beauty of your faces, bathed in the soft orange glow of dying embers, smiling back at me.
It means family.
It means I am Home.
I know I should step into the shower, wash my hair and change my clothes, so as to save myself a few valuable moments in the morning as I rush off to my last meddlesome day of work. But I can't. I am bathed in a scent that I can neither explain nor let go of. Not if there's a chance to lay my head upon my pillow, close my eyes, and allow you, sweet friends, into my dreams to linger for a while in that place of late night campfires, stolen moments, setting suns, and starry skies.