Another turn of the wheel

For all of my talk of adoring winter & its bleak silence, the minute Valentine’s candy goes on sale, I break into a feverish sweat in anticipation of spring… Seed catalogs get pored over, bulbs get forced, & my knees see the light of day for the first time in months.

This year is particularly special, as it heralds the beginning of what I hope will be a well-loved tradition, the revisiting of my Limited Edition scents from years past. The fact that I have the opportunity to do this at all is a wonder; that my fledgling business has lived to see another cycle despite the bleak predictions for the world economy at large is astounding. And so, this year’s returning scents are steeped as much in celebration & thankfulness as they are in nostalgia.

Sky Blue Sky

First to return, like the robins of spring, is Sky Blue Sky. I cast a batch of it this morning, & the house is filled with the scent of young hemlocks, cold spring water & wild honeysuckle.

This one is particularly dear to me, as it attempts to capture the scent of the Appalachian woods that my dad would guide us through every spring. He is an avid backpacker, & had the good sense & quiet persistence to drag my adolescent self into the wilds at every opportunity. At times I resented it, as any self-centered teen would, but in truth those weekends on the trail shaped my greater sense of the world & provided a welcome respite from the insular nature of AP classes & Honor Society. The stony miles hiked, the icy streams forded, the ancient forests, the inevitable rain and the living silence that surrounded us served as very real, very tangible reminders of my own unimportance. My own petty triumphs, trials & dramas were but a flicker in the face of the endless cycle of the seasons, a thought that I found deeply, deeply comforting.

Years later, the first warm day in March always sets my heart aflutter, & I drag my young son out into the woods as soon as the snow has melted off the trails. We’re only out for an hour or two, & his tiny legs aren’t up for the burden of much more than a bottle of water in his coat pocket, but we are there, watching as the earth comes to life after the long chill of winter. He already knows many of the trees by name, & does the most heartbreaking echo of the chickadee’s song. I hope that he some day finds the same relief that I do in the scent of new growth & the endless arc of a sky blue sky.

Sky Blue Sky will be live through mid-April


About Hayley

I'm a trained pastry chef, DIY queen & mother with my heart in west England, my soul in Chicago, & my feet in south-central PA. Paintbox Soapworks was born out of my love for handicraft, beautiful fragrances & clean hands. I play around with colors & scents & soothe my insomnia by dreaming up new ideas. I pull heavily from music (Waits, White Stripes, Wilco), books (Tolkien, the avalanche of children's books in C's room) & my own fertile imagination.
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