I love the time of year in the Pacific Northwest when you can start to smell the seasons change. Although I cannot describe the smell entirely, it’s light and fresh, earthy and warm at the same time. When I step outside my house that’s nestled in a 2 acre patch of land and woods, I can hear a low hum from our old mercury florescent light on our hay loft of the barn that has been coming on at night for 30 years. I can hear the neighbor’s horses galloping softly into the night around the pastures. The faint smell of someone smoking a steak and a couple potatoes on their barbie q for a nice supper under a cloudless sky of stars. But what makes me feel the most at home are the millions of frogs chirping in the swamp and wetlands that lines my back yard. The sound of the frogs gives me a sense of home, mixed in with the comforting smell of the Douglas Fir and Evergreen trees that never seem to shed a leaf. Although, the maple trees make up for that perfection.
When I was a child, I always wanted to sneak up on the frogs, possibly even catch one! I would get on my old rubber boots and my father’s rain jacket and be so brave i wouldn’t even take a flashlight. But those amphibious creatures got the best of me every time. Whenever I would step one foot past the treeline, 100 feet away from the swamp, they would go silent like they were never even there in the first place. Gone in an instance. I’d go back to my room to whatever I was doing, and slowly, I would hear the chirping of the frogs. I always thought I would get them next time. And now, even at age 24, out in my Ugg boots and old snowboarding jacket, those frogs never have forgotten me, or their disappearing act.
I have lived in my house for 23 years of my life, and there is nothing that compares to a Pacific Northwest spring or summer. I have missed it for the past two years, and I will miss it again when I head off in 3 weeks to sunny/windy, no-visible-change-in-season Mykonos.
But my roots go as deep as the Evergreen that grows outside my bedroom window, straight, tall and loyal to where it has always stood.