The Nostalgic Scent of Freshly Cut Grass

Dear Reader:

Aren’t there just some scents that linger from our childhoods into our present-day lives… bringing such pleasurable memories with them?

One of the saddest side effects for some people, affected with COVID19, is the sudden loss of taste and smell. Unfortunately, for some, these two important senses haven’t returned and perhaps won’t ever return. (Doctors are still studying long-term effects on patients…but it takes a “long-term” to do this.)

I can relate… since years of chemo have done the same thing to me. Yet some times,  out of the blue, for just a few seconds… either my full taste buds reappear and/or my sense of smell. It is like a shot of adrenaline when these rare incidents occur…and it makes me so happy!

It never lasts long but that is why it is so special. One smell that I really miss in the summer is the smell of freshly cut-grass. Jeff came yesterday (along with his sweet son) to cut, weed-eat, and even fix some leaning fences for me…a jack of all trades.

After he left I slowly walked through the garden and when I got to Lachlan’s Japanese Maple tree..the sun’s rays hit it turning it into flames of beauty (title photo)… It was while I was standing there…that (for just a few seconds) I smelled that luscious scent of recently cut grass. It took me back down memory lane.

I remember chasing fireflies (lightning bugs) after a summer storm in the evenings or playing chase in a freshly cut neighbor’s yard and stopping to just breathe in the sweet scent of both “magical” scents….now imprinted in my memory.


Many years ago…when I was still doing workshops around the state…I was returning from doing one in Anderson and decided to take the back roads to my high school years stomping grounds…Laurens. (It is one of the best towns to get back on the interstate.)

One of those huge tractor mowers was cutting grass, in a pasture,  off the old Laurens Highway…it was early September…one of the last grass-cuttings for the season. My windows were down while I was breathing in rural South Carolina and loving it.

When I smelled that freshly cut grass scent…I decided to pull over, sit on the car, and just take the scenery in…scents and all. Even though most of the large cutting machines were in the back fields…one lone worker was pushing a lawn mower  to detail cut the grass along the fence rails.

As he got closer he tipped his hat and smiled….”You must love the scent of freshly cut grass as much as I do” he called out over the sounds of the mower. ‘

“I actually volunteer to do this job because I love cutting grass and smelling the results…one of my all-time favorite smells.” 

He winked, I waved, and slowly got back in the car…refreshed and ready to complete the last stage of the trip home…lost in memories…my cousins and I used to jump off the upstairs barn level (open gates) into a huge pile of hay we built in front of the barn. If Grandmother caught us she would be furious so we made sure we had a look-out while jumping.

(Looking back on it…no doubt Grandmother knew…from the squeals coming from the barn…and the hay stuck in our hair when called to supper…but she never let on…and luckily there were never any broken bones. 🙂

One scent I wish I could smell again is that of a gathering thunderstorm…we have been in the 100’s (temps) the last few days with no showers…we need some rain badly! I would love to smell the rain after a torrential down-pour… of those fresh scents we can’t quite imitate.

So until tomorrow….

Eva Cate and Jake loved the SC Aquarium yesterday…Mandy said the hardest part was trying to keep Jake from touching everything but I reminded her that is how 5 -year- olds learn…tactile..touching, feeling and absorbing knowledge. No matter which choices parents make this fall…the power of human touch, while learning, will be sadly missed.

Am Praying Jake will get to play his first (modified) t-ball game all summer…he has suited up three times …just to be disappointed by the game being called, at the last minute, for various reasons…maybe tonight will be the night. Go Astro’s …Go Jakie!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to The Nostalgic Scent of Freshly Cut Grass

  1. Honey Burrell says:

    Your garden is like a fairyland! It’s so beautiful and your hard work is evident. Love you lots.❤️😘❤️


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Love you back lots…but it in’t “My” garden…it is definitely an accumulation of so many friends’ contributions to it…through hard work creating it, plants, seeds, plaques, benches…when I look around I see faces of so many friends who helped “build” my dream…like YOU!


  2. Rachel Edwards says:

    Loved the pictures of your garden. Hope that one day soon we can do lunch and then come by to see my garden…and I do love the smell of rain….


    • Becky Dingle says:

      ” Some…day”….I think is how modern fairy tales must start now instead of “once upon a time”…some day we will be able to “do lunch” again….but I can’t have gotten this far to blow it over a taco or chicken salad sandwich! 🙂 🙂


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