Come close. Let me tell you a secret. I do magic.
In my hand I hold charcoal colored seeds, no bigger than mouse droppings. A friend collected them when they fell from his morning glories and has now shared them with countless others. The back of my neighbor’s garage, which butts up to my driveway, will be their playground once I erect a chicken wire trellis for them to climb. Imagine a whole wall of violet blue flowers unfurling with early morning sun then raveling closed at night. They promise to draw bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, guests I am eager to host. Morning glory flowers are edible. The seeds serve as a laxative and can be used as a hallucinogenic. The leaves heal insect bites and stings. Dry those leaves to make tea in winter and the liquid relieves frostbite and chilblains.
All this magic from nascent seeds.
They will go in an area of ground being readied especially for them. My retired neighbor has been helping in the preparations. With the attentive precision of a scientist-midwife, she monitors the compost pile; adds layers of leaves and grass clipping from her yard, dutifully spreads grounds from a coffee shop. Many others help. Worms, mice, creeping crawlies and whatever else turn our apple cores, eggshells, onion skins and so on into dirt. Into this dark richness I’ve mixed chicken poop from the community garden center. In a world where we categorize smell as good or bad based on appeal or lack thereof, I pause and inhale happily.
It is the scent of time and place consecrated; redeeming what was discarded as foul, worthless refuse into new life. It is fragrant hope borne out of a communion of living things bent on shared purpose. Together we make soil so plants can thrive.