the smell of freshly mowed grass

i was walking my way to work this morning with a heavy head and a lonely heart.

i woke up very early this morning, around three. i willed myself to sleep again but i ended up tossing around my bed until i finally had to got up at five. i guess that explains the heaviness of my head. and the loneliness in my heart? i dunno. maybe i was just so not in the mood for work. again. i always feel this way after long weekends.

so, there i was with my deceiving steps, walking like i really belonged in this workplace.
and then. i smelled home.

the smell of freshly mowed grass.

i grew up in the province. though i did not really grew up in a farm, my family owns one. as a kid, i was fond of going there with my dad. i enjoyed the simple joy of climbing trees and eating fruits i harvested myself. i also had fun hunting spiders *the small ones we locally call “pitik”* and flying kites with my brother.

but the one thing i loved best in the farm is the smell of freshly mowed grass.

when my brother was not around, i would just sit on the grass and draw. i really felt there was an artist inside me, even then. sometimes, i would lie on my back and watch the clouds; make out figures in the sky and get lost in my daydreams. during my most autistic moments, i would even run after grasshoppers. these were especially fun kapag bagong gapas ang mga damo. you see, at a very young age, i was already prone to addiction. i was not aware of my profound attachment to that smell then, though. all i knew was the smell comforts me. like home. at hindi ako gaanong pinapangathan.

when i moved into the city for my tertiary education, i longed for home. and, unconsciously, for that smell. you know how kids get attached to the smell of their favorite blanket, pillow or stuffed toy?

luckily, i got into a university with a “multi-purpose field.” i enjoyed hanging out with my friends there. even after graduation, we would often find ourselves sitting side by side on the grass, reminiscing the days that were.

iba talaga ang pakiramdam dito. one of my friends would muse. there’s something about this place. sighed the other. naalala ko pa, dito din kami nakaupo noon. this was me. remembering her makes me feel like crying again.

but aside from the memories we had there, i never mentioned that my love for the smell of grass endeared that field to me. i thought it would just add up to the long list of things they find weird about me. i found it weird myself. so i kept this love to myself too long.

then one day i asked b: gusto mo ba ang amoy ng damo? i was not able to phrase the question properly but he understood. he smiled. oo. kasi tanda mo? nung nagsa-soccer pa ‘ko. grade four. ang sarap maglaro ‘pag bagong tabas yung field. ambango-bango. bakit mo naitanong? gusto ko din kasi yung amoy. i smiled. my heart was smiling. and i fell in love with him again.

and just like that, the loneliness in my heart disappeared. like magic. :)


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