Today it is hot, mercilessly so
But the smell of the hot earth takes me back
To a time of the same smell
When I was about 14 and it was very hot
I found shade under a huge tree
I believe it was an oak
It cast shade over a wide area
Or so it seemed as I was smaller then.
It was cool and the grass underneath it
Was soft and fragrant
I remember thinking
“Is there any place better than this
Any tree with a better shade?
And I lay down on the grass
And watched the clouds.
I thought, “Is there anything better than this?”
I was so glad to be alive then
And now I know that there is something better.
The memory of that day is better
On this hot day.
The feeling, the smell
And the coolness of the shade in my own yard
And I am even happier to be alive,
Grateful to the heat, the tree, the shade
The smell of hot earth and sweet grass
And the happiness of a memory.
The difference is the discovery of gratitude.