The smells and scents of Northern California remind me I’m home, even though I haven’t lived there in over 20 years. I walk or run along the trails near Mount Tamalpais and the Pacific Ocean and breathe in.
I smell the menthol of the eucalyptus tree, its tall branches swaying high in the wind.
I smell the licorice of the delicate anise bush and remember tasting its fine leaves as I waited for the school bus.
I smell the Mediterranean fragrance of the California Bay Laurel as its leaves surround me on the trail.
I smell the woodsy dampness of the Redwood tree as I am dwarfed by its statuesque grace.
These scents surround me on Mount Tam, in Muir Woods, and in Baltimore Canyon, all just north of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, and I breathe in.
Trip taken June 2012.