In an instant 2012 disappears and it is the late 1970s. I’m a kid in pyjamas sitting on my front porch. It’s Sunday morning. My beloved childhood border collie Rufus at my side. My baby sister is toddling around – mop of blonde curls, dummy hanging from the corner of her mouth. She chews it rather than sucking on it. This instant came as I walked to work past the local council guys cutting the grass on the sidewalk. The smell of freshly mown grass – and my dad – came rushing to me.
It’s 2007 and I’m in Chicago where I’ve gone to surprise my sister for her 30th birthday. It’s freezing. Literally. I am a summer girl but there’s something new and wonderful about the feel and sound of the snow crunching beneath my boots. The path to this instant is harder to trace, although I think there must have been cinnamon in someone’s coffee?
It’s 2001 and I feel like I’m in a scene from a movie. A couple of hours ago I was wearing a short red dress celebrating at a wedding of my school friend. Now I have flown on a small plane to a country town to attend another wedding. I changed into a long red dress on the flight. This elicited cheers from the other passengers as I emerged from the tiny bathroom – changing in a room the size of a postage stamp is no mean feat! I see him through the small window of the plane, resplendant in his tux. I step off the small plane and into his arms. I breathe him in. This instant came as a tall dark-haired man walked past me wearing his cologne.
It’s all manner of years and it is all the dogs I’ve loved. A montage of them run and tumble through my memory and my heart. This instant comes as I get close and breathe the earthy smell of Bella or Bear’s paw. It does this to me every single time.
Scent. And memories. The strength of scent and the ability it has to draw you from that every day moment you’re in. In an instant you are somewhere else, a time that’s not this one.
A time where you relive happiness, love and loss.