I always enjoy spring in Indiana. Not only for the warmth and the end of the ice and slush, but for what it’s going to bring in sounds and smells. This is what I really love about Indiana.
I love the spring warmth when you can just lie down in the grass and absorb the warmth of the sun. It’s not too hot — in fact, if a cloud passes in front of the sun, you can feel the chill that winter’s not ready to give up. You can smell the grass, especially the newly-cut grass from your neighbor who forgot to make one last cut last October, and now he’s rushing to get started on the season.
I can close my eyes and hear the birds talking again, sharing winter vacation stories. “Man, that was a brutal winter. How’d you hold up?” “We just got back from Florida. Ended up staying a little longer since it was still cold up here. We had to stay with Enid’s parents an extra 4 weeks.” “Oh man, that’s awful. I think I would have tried to tough out the cold.”
There are a lot of sounds in Indiana come springtime. Mowers firing up, farmers’ tractors clattering to life again, and hoses washing off the winter grime. And of course, there’s that familiar rumbling wine coming from west Indianapolis, n-n-N-N-N-YOWWW-w-w-w!!
Summer showers have that fresh smell of ozone and clean air. Indiana has just had a bath, and colors are brighter and more vivid than the HD-est of HD TVs. After every rain, I’m reminded of an Indianapolis Indians night game I attended in 2011. It rained before the game, so a lot of people stayed home, but the game went on. I sat in the bleachers, looking at the night sky. There were so few people, you could hear the players on the field. The smack of the ball into the catcher’s mitt. The crack of the bat. And the scattered few “awwws” as an Indian possible homer turned into a fly out. The night was so clear and clean, because the rain had scrubbed out the dirt, mist, and even the bugs.
Summer means more mowing, more yard work, and more sounds and smells of trying to keep up with the people next door. Summer means sweet corn for Sunday lunch, and the thundering explosions in your ears as each corn kernel pops under your teeth.
For the 4H kids, spring and summer means the sounds and smells of their animals, as they prepare for their county fair. And those lucky few who make it to the state fair. For them, the sounds and smells are the next 17 days they’ll spend in their barns with their animals, watching them, washing them, and cleaning up after them. By which time, the 4H kids will have their own smells as well.
Spring means music in Indiana, as Klipsch Music Center opens up for the season, and I can hear the faint strains of whatever band is playing that night out my back door. It’s the start of farmers market season, and the murmuring crowds and clinking jars of farmers markets around the state.
For me, my state is as much about the smells and sounds as it is about the sights and tastes. It’s a multi-sensory experience that the people who live here can’t explain, but once you’ve been here, you know exactly what it means.
Photo credit (lawn mower): Manuel Reinhard (Flickr, Creative Commons)
Photo credit: Erik Deckers (used with permission)
Photo credit (Bloomington Farmers Market): Eric Bartholomew (Flickr, Creative Commons)
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