The smell of death.

I love to walk in parks and I feel better and noticeably saner afterwards. But if it is the month of November or April then I hate that pungent smell which offends my olfactory bulb, you know, that earthy smell that is present which is the smell of decomposing leaves. It is an odd sight of seeing squirrels running around full of life and then smelling that smell. It is an odd juxtaposition of life and death in the same moment and it is very odd, to me at least.

I look at the trees as I walk and see that they are without leaves, looking more like skeletons than their old selves, with their branches extending in all directions but naked without their covering. Hundreds and hundreds of leaves littering the ground, reminders of past days when these trees were in full bloom, a marvel to the eyes. Now they looked more like eyesores and reminded me of my mortality. I felt sorry for them as I continued my walk on the trail.

I was sad when I saw those barren branches but if it is April I know that they will soon come alive again and the cycle of life will resume. The tree will seemingly resurrect from death after lying dormant for several months. But if it is November then I know that the worse is still ahead for them. Of course all this applies to areas of the world that enjoy the four seasons, as we do in Eastern North America. My experience would no doubt be different in warm climates where trees are the same year round and do not shed their leaves. Perhaps then that would make me think of immortality instead of my mortality.

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1 Comment

Filed under Essays

One response to “The smell of death.

  1. This is a photographic blog covering the lives of childhood cancer patients in Bangladesh. Please visit to find some of their stories:
    https://stonesunturnedbd.wordpress.com

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