I have this memory that makes me smile.
Eight years ago, on a long sunny evening in the middle of July, I drove my beat-up Subaru wagon across the Higgins Street Bridge in Missoula, with all the windows down, every seat in the car taken by someone I loved like family, my good friend Walsh, hanging out the window like an excited lab, proclaiming; "It smells like summertime!" at the top of his lungs.
Then we went to the Top Hat and had just enough beer to decide to float the river. Right that minute. We inflated my raft just as it became dark, and set out for a night float down the Clark Fork River. This was not an atypical evening when I was 22.
So this morning as I snipped basil that was threatening to flower, I remembered Walsh's words.
Like breathing in the smell of cottonwoods and sunshine over the Higgins Street Bridge, fresh basil smells like summertime.