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Scents and sensibility

April 23, 2010

It seems like Scott has been in one of his ‘moods’ recently. We refer to it as ‘his time of the month’. Ok, so it’s not as bad as mine; but it’s there.  Added to the fact that he likes to rant about stuff, even when he’s not down or wound up, and I get to hear a lot of stuff about how the world works and how he thinks things could be different.

So, I asked him to write it down.  He’s not convinced […are you convinced?] that it amounts to much, but, I told him, that’s what a blog is about.  That’s what any writing is about.  Ok, so he claims he’s not a writer.  In that case, I said, I’ll transcribe for you.

I remembered where I’d left a notebook, up on a shelf (“The shelf that the cats knocked everything off of this morning, you mean?” – well, I guess if TicTac, resident mountaineer, was indoors, then the answer might be yes…), and recommended he get it down and have a scribble.  This is what was sitting by the side of the bed when I got home.


“I was thinking about something Jenny said – ‘I don’t give her the answers’.  I like to bitch a lot, and say how everything is fucked up, but that doesn’t help, I guess.  You see, in my head, I see and hear the answers, at least, the answers for me.  But they don’t come out like that; only as me bitching.

So, with what I write, I will try and say why I do something, or live a certain way – and try to stay away from complaining about the big world around us.  The biggest problem with my complaint about the world is that we are all somehow connected.  If the guy down the road does something that isn’t ‘right’, perhaps that will affect me; or someone else. 

So, why do I live this way?   I farm because I love the smells.  Freshly cut hay in June; the smell of soil as you’re plowing.  Even the smell of pig manure.  That one brings me back to seventh grade, when me and my family moved to Pennsylvania.  My Dad wanted to be around more farmers.  The farms in Maine seemed to be going away, and it’s nice to be around your people, I guess. 

I became – well, me and my family became friends with an Amish family.   We spent a lot of time there; they milked about 20 cows, and they had pigs.  The smell of their farm was, as I think with most farms, uniquely their own.  I never at the time knew it to be corn, and gas lights, and pig, and horse.  But, it had a bit more pig – kind of got into the clothes, and the farmyard, and on boots.   It’s not a bad smell. Earthy; kind of sweet. 


So, now that I have pigs of my own, that smell comes back to me, and all the memories of that summer playing in the woods and fields with Raymond.  I think there is something about smell that makes you happy.  I could be wrong, but I would go out on a limb here, and say that I bet the first man would have needed smell as much as, or even more than, he needed to see.

So, for me, the smells of my childhood days on the farm have always been with me.  A farm is the best place to grow up, and whenever I smell the sweat of a working horse or the fine sawdust of a cedar, it makes me happy.  And in the end, isn’t happiness what we all want?”

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 24, 2010 12:04 am

    This was beautiful.
    Scott, please share more about your bitching. I think under the all the frustration are myriad ideas of how to make this world better.
    You belong on a farm… and that’s your way to make the world better. But here I am in a city needing those ideas that only the pigs and cows and jacapo get to hear. So write them down and let’s make this happen.

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