“Feeling the smile and wondering why it was there, he awoke. He lay quietly listening, and the smile was explained.
“For he heard a sound which was far more important than birds or the rustle of new leaves. Once a year he woke this way and lay waiting for the sound which meant that summer had officially begun. And it began on a morning such as this when a boarder, a nephew, a cousin, a son or a grandson came out on the lawn below and moved in consecutively smaller quadrangles north and east and south and west with a clatter of rotating metal through the sweet summer grass. Clover blossoms, the few unharvested dandelion fires, ants, sticks, pebbles, remnants of last year’s July Fourth squibs and punks, but predominantly clear green, a fount leaped up from the chattering mower. A cool soft fount; Grandfather imagined it tickling his legs, spraying his warm face, filling his nostrils with the timeless scent of a new season begun, with the promise that, yes, we’ll all live another twelve months.”
-Ray Bradbury, in Dandelion Wine
My family’s push reel lawn mower didn’t make it into the 21st century, but I’m pretty sure I was still pushing that thing in the ‘90s. (That would explain the embarrassing plenitude of ‘character’ I still hold in reserve, while all my friends have to show for their landscaping efforts are the sad, spent fumes of the very self-propelled, gas-powered engines that stripped them of their manhood.)
Still, no matter how you do it, nothing says summer like the smell of freshly cut grass.