Hanging from the vent on my car’s console is an air “freshener”. It’s empty. The artificially scented liquid that once sloshed around inside and slowly emitted itself into my contained atmosphere merely “masked” the scent of swamp and who knows what else I’ve been dragging from here to there.
Tonight as I make a beeline through the quiet, barren roads of the Everglades I am soothed by the most majestic of natural perfumes. It wafts through every pore of my vehicle and fills my lungs with a sweet delicious aroma.
As I drive north out of the Everglades I make my way through cattle ranches and orange groves where billions of oranges weigh heavily on sturdy, pliable limbs. I am mesmerized by a seemingly endless array of groves. My headlights remain focused ahead but I am convinced I can see brilliant oranges in my peripheral view in an otherwise black and white landscape.
A lone truck passes me heading south bound. A bitter whiff of diesel is smothered by an engulfing gust of the aromatic blooms. The sweet combustion fades into the night with the taillights.
Sable Palms, the State Tree of Florida, wave their fan-shaped fronds, helping to spread the enchanting scent of orange blossoms, the State Flower of Florida, across pastures and prairies.
For a few short weeks in March, the air will be inundated with the most blissful scent – enticing bees to pollinate the trees and making the low-humidity, mosquito free nights the most enjoyable time to sit on the porch, gaze at the stars, listen to the crickets and let your lungs fill with nature’s perfect scent.