The World Outside has gone from grey-brown to green, green, green, and the air is full of the sweet-grape scent of the locust blossoms. Their flowers which last for three or four days at the most and then scatter tiny petals to the lawn and the gutters. This is the smell of summer vacation riding in, of knowing you've only got a couple more weeks of walking past the locust trees to the bus stop to endure the too-close crowds of your classmates and the interminable, droning lectures of teachers who don't want to be there any more than you do. It's a Friday night smell, the smell of something great on the way, all the sweeter for the raw potential before the break really hits and bogs down with all the little details of how you're going to go about enjoying it, when it's 90 degrees and humid and you're just too tired of swimming to spend any more time in the pond, and you know those lawns aren't going to mow themselves while your spending money is waiting on it.
The lawn here's all mowed, though, and just in time for the afternoon shower to come and apologise to the grass, and pat down all the dust and pollen kicked up by the rattletrap mower my stepfather found at the dump and pieced together and then passed along to us. Lord, but that machine kicks up the stones and the dirt. We leave the dogs inside to protect them from stray pebbles and if I didn't wear glasses I'd put on safety goggles. There was a cloud rising from my metal roar, today. The station wagon's gone from black to yellow and back to black.
There's no more summer vacation for us, of course, no matter what it smells like. At least, no vacation to stretch from June through August. That's all right, though. We've still got plenty to look forward to. There's something to be said for the pleasure of mowing your own lawn after a childhood of cutting grass for others.