Happy summer.

"Do you smell that?" he asked.

We were driving back from Murdo's birthday dinner. I was in the driver's seat and had just exited the highway, turned off the AC and rolled the windows down. I unclipped my hair, still damp from a quick shower just a few hours before, to let dry as the warm air hit us.

I took a deep breath in. Yes.

It was a thick smell, heavy with moisture and greenery and life. The smell of a long summer day that began with morning gardening before the heat hit, 90-degree temps by noon, followed by the kind of storm that shoots single bolts of lighting in the distance and a quick downpour while the sun still shines.

The rain was over and the sun nearly gone as I turned onto a long road that wound through trees and trails of forest preserve.

"It smells like a rainforest," I told him. "Or at least what I imagine a rainforest to smell like. Although a rainforest probably smells like this times 100."

When I turned into our neighborhood, our familiar street lined with trees, I got that feeling you get when you know you're home, and there are cats waiting for you at the door and laundry to be folded and the comfort of your Sunday evening routine ahead.

A couple of fireflies blinked in the driveway as we pulled in.

Happy summer.


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