Dark rum, rumbullion, rummage, scents, essences and escents (forming adjectives expressing a flux state or action). Now is the time of falling deciduous leaves in the northern hemisphere. For a long while now, I have mulled on a word that describes the prevailing smell for me ~ a sweet, musky, peppery aroma of decaying leaves, depending on the leaf mix ~ as well as the activity of soil enrichment and kicking through them on misty mornings and cooler evenings.
Smell is a powerful provocation of emotion. Emotion may lead to good things, including the for-wiring of the cultural acceptance that we too are nature. Each of us responds to smells and the memories they stimulate with uniqueness and Autumn is an acute time for smells to accentuate in our minds in temperate zones.
Decaying leaves are broken down to soil nutrients by bacteria, fungi, and tiny invertebrates, and they give off organic compounds and sugars in an air-cocktail that is fairly unique in any given place and in our minds, though there may be commonalities at certain temperatures and times of the day.
Climate change and struggling ecologies mean such things could be afforded more names in our depauperate language, articulated and treasured in our consciousness and affirmed by the discussion of them. Let there be many names, helping to shape the way we think and evolving in time and space.
Perhaps my word here will not resonate with you. If it does, I am so glad. Why not think about a word yourself if it does not, and please do share it in the comments box below. Thank you and enjoy all the good things that Autumn will bring this year.
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