Most people would agree,
that a smell drifting towards you,
can transport you back to a moment,
you didn’t even know you had forgotten.
As you inhale,
the years slip away,
and with great clarity you have full 20/20 recall.
I have always believed,
that nothing in life brought back a memory,
more clearly than smell.
A certain perfume can bring back the memory of a past love.
For myself the smell of sweat pea in a garden, reminds me of the summers of my childhood.
Breathing in the smell of a newborn baby,
transports me back to those magical early days of mothering,
when I fell in love with my children.
However yesterday I was cleaning out cupboards,
in a desperate attempt,
to find room for even more rubbish I for some reason wanted to keep,
when I discovered boxes filled with baby memories,
and some filled with loose photographs.
Without the hint of a smell,
I was transported back in time.
The past twenty five years of my life,
all there in those few boxes.
Cards, photos and baby tags.
Baby clothes, first shoes and blankets.
But it was the photographs I was drawn to.
There were hundreds of them.
My two girls were with me,
and they pounced on them.
Initially I wanted to keep going,
trying to finish the “tidying”.
However it was impossible,
the lure of reliving past memories just too great to resist.
As I held some of those photographs in my hand,
I felt as if I was looking at a paused DVD.
The photo in front of me just a still,
a moment in time paused,
whilst in my head the full video played.
The baby photos,
documenting each childs arrival,
and first meetings with their siblings.
The many milestones along the way,
first shoes, first steps, first day at school,
all captured on film.
Some photos screamed at me,
the laughter so loud I could almost hear it.
Eventually we had viewed every photo, at least once.
The tidying long forgotten.
The room now looked an even bigger mess.
The girls disappeared,
and reluctantly I repackaged the past.
Hours have passed,
and yet I cannot turn off the DVD playing in my head.
I hear the shouts and laughter of eight children under seven playing.
The calls for drinks, and snacks.
The many many rows that were had,
“your cheating”, “that’s not fair”, “I’m not playing”.
and all the tears that were shed.
The frustration and tiredness I felt in those days,
is completely forgotten.
As I happily sit here tonight,
replaying the DVD in my head,
and marveling at the power of a photograph,
to transport me back to the past.