Go bury your nose in a crabapple tree’s blossoms and forget the snows of winter.
Why Flowers Smell the Way They Do, from Dancing Moons, 1995, by Nancy Wood
When flowers were first invented, they smelled like mud.
Dust shook out of their petals and no one
wanted to be around them for very long,
the rose especially. It smelled like dead leaves.
In those days there were order and grace
and predictability. Except for flowers,
beautiful yet unnoticed, things were what
they were intended to be. Birds were just birds and
Trees were just trees. Caterpillars crawled along
and the meadowlark could be counted on to sing
the way he was supposed to. Flowers refused
to smell good because they thought no one loved them.
So it was, for a long time. Then one day a beautiful
girl picked a wild rose and put it in her hair,
so boys would admire her as she passed by.
Sniff, sniff, they went, and turned to watch her.
One boy said: The smell of that wild rose makes me
want to fall in love. The other boys came closer
and smelled the rose. They all agreed. The flower
smelled sweet and made them fall in love, too.
From that day on, flowers began to smell the way they do now.
Especially the wild rose, worn in a pretty girl’s hair.